When it comes to minimizing waste, Burger King aims to be, well, king.
The fast food chain plans to test out reusable packaging including sandwich containers and beverage cups, the 18,000-plus restaurant chain announced on Thursday.
Burger King will debut the pilot program in New York City, Portland and Tokyo sometime next year, with other cities to follow.
Customers who opt to use the “zero-waste” packaging will pay a deposit and then receive a refund when they return the containers, which can be cleaned and reused repeatedly.
Burger King is partnering with Loop, a “circular packaging service,” on the pilot. The restaurants will use Loop’s cleaning systems to sanitize the containers before they’re used again.
Tom Szaky, CEO of Loop and its parent company, TerraCycle, said the company has seen the environmental impact of increased takeout ordering during the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Szaky said in a written statement.
Additionally, Burger King said it would supply all of its packagings from “renewable, recycled or certified sources” and recycle all of that packaging in the U.S. by 2025.
Matthew Banton, head of innovation and sustainability at Burger King, said the aim is to reduce packaging waste in the food service industry.
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“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,” Banton said.
Burger King isn’t the only fast food chain partnering with Loop to test reusable packaging. Last month, McDonald’s announced a similar pilot program for with Loop for reusable coffee cups at some of its U.K. restaurants next year.