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Burger King Testing Reusable Packaging

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Burger King has launched a partnership with TerraCycle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to pilot a closed-loop system with zero-waste packaging that can be safely cleaned and refilled to be reused, again and again.

He might not look like an environmentalist, but The King is all about being more sustainable.

That’s why Burger King is testing a new reusable packaging model to help cut down on packaging waste. The Miami-based fast-food chain, as part of its “Restaurant Brands for Good” framework, has launched a partnership with TerraCycle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to pilot a closed-loop system with zero-waste packaging that can be safely cleaned and refilled to be reused, again and again.

“As part of our Restaurant Brands for Good plan, we’re investing in the development of sustainable packaging solutions that will help push the foodservice industry forward in reducing packaging waste,” said Matthew Banton, head of innovation and sustainability for Burger King Global. “The Loop system gives us the confidence in a reusable solution that meets our high safety standards, while also offering convenience for our guests on the go.”

Beginning in 2021, select Burger King restaurants in New York City, Portland and Tokyo will be among the first to implement the model, with more cities expected to be added in the coming months. Participating restaurants will feature a collection system in which guests can return the packaging to be safely cleaned through Loop and reused at Burger King restaurants. Those who opt for the reusable packaging, which will be used for certain sandwiches and drinks, are charged a deposit at the time of purchase and receive a refund when the packaging is returned.

Burger King said its partnership with Loop aligns with its restaurants’ rigorous safety procedures around cleanliness and hygiene, all which have become even more pressing during the current pandemic. Loop’s cleaning systems have been created to sanitize food containers and cups,

“During COVID, we have seen the environmental impact of increased takeaway ordering which makes this initiative by Burger King all the more important,” said Tom Szaky, TerraCycle and Loop CEO. “This enables Burger King consumers to easily bring reusability into their daily lives, and whether they choose to eat in or takeaway, they will be able to get some of their favorite food and drinks in a reusable container.”

Burger King said the pilot will help advance its restaurants’ sustainability strategy, building on existing commitments to reduce its environmental footprint and protect the planet for the long-term. To support the sustainable production of packaging materials, 100% of guest packaging will be sourced from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025. While working toward reducing the use of virgin materials and single-use packaging, Burger King said it’s also tackling the challenge of improved waste diversion, with a commitment to recycle guest packaging in 100% of restaurants in Canada and the U.S. by 2025.

Founded in 1954, Burger King is the second largest fast-food hamburger chain in the world and operates more than 18,800 locations in more than 100 countries and U.S. territories.