McDonald’s To Offer Reusable Coffee Cups
by Laura Barns
In an effort to reduce waste, McDonald’s is rolling out reusable coffee cups.
The American fast-food company recently partnered with Loop, a global reuse platform that replaces single-use packaging with durable designs, to launch the trial program. McDonald’s customers at six restaurants in the Northampton, UK, area will now be able to order their favourite hot drinks in reusable coffee cups in exchange for a £1 deposit.
“Reuse is a really interesting, important tool in a suite of tools that we will need, and we’re exploring as we look to keep waste out of nature,” says Jenny McColloch, vice president of global sustainability at McDonald’s Corporation. The company is the first in the food service industry to partner with Loop, a company that also pioneered a new system of reusable packaging for mainstream consumer products like shampoo and ice cream from major brands. The pilot will test how Loop’s system could work in the context of fast food.
In the U.K., most McDonald’s restaurants are already recycling paper cups, sending them to recycling centers that remove the plastic lining so the paper can be recycled. But a cup reused multiple times can have even less impact. The process is straightforward. Customers who choose the cup will pay a small deposit on it. If they stay in the store, they can drop it off in a Loop bin there and get their money back; if they take the cup to go, they can either bring it back the next time or drop it off at another Loop site later—like a Tesco supermarket, where Loop is also expanding. The cups are taken offsite to a Loop cleaning facility, where they are individually sterilized and hygienically sealed before they’re sent back to the restaurant. (If you don’t find a Loop site, the cup is also recyclable, but loses some of the benefits if it’s not reused multiple times.)
By Laura Barns
Laura is our Copywriter, who is obsessed with the Hearty Roots Stew (and has been known to eat a double serve for lunch on more than one occasion). On her day off you’ll find her walking her puppy Ralph, stopping off at bookshops and cocktail bars along the way.