An innovative packaging initiative in pilot with Burger King presents retail foodservice operators with interesting opportunities to reduce waste and generate repeat customer traffic.
The brand, 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.
Together with Loop, the trial will offer restaurant guests the option to conveniently reduce waste when ordering their favorite Burger King brand staples like the Whopper sandwich, soft drink or coffee in reusable sandwich containers or beverage cups.
Starting 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 are charged a deposit at the time of purchase, and when the packaging is returned, they receive a refund.
The partnership with Loop aligns with Burger King 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, meaning each will be hygienically cleaned and safe before each use.
“As part of our Restaurant Brands for Good plan, we’re investing in the development of sustainable packaging solutions that will help push the food service industry forward in reducing packaging waste,” said Matthew Banton, Head of Innovation and Sustainability, 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.”
In September, news emerged that Loop, the worldwide circular-shopping platform rolled out last year by Trenton, New Jersey-based TerraCycle, is now available in every ZIP code in the 48 contiguous states.
Since its launch in the northeastern United States and Paris, with subsequent expansion to the United Kingdom this past July, Loop has experienced considerable growth of its brand partners and product assortment: It now offers more than 80 brands and 400 products globally, and more than 100,000 people enrolled to receive the service.
Loop allows consumers to shop for brands in sturdy packaging that’s reused until the end of its life, resulting in a circular system that aims to supplant disposable single-use packaging. The service features international companies such as Unilever and Nature’s Path and small independently owned businesses alike.