Burger King Tries Sustainable Packaging

The chain is asking for customer feedback on the new wrappers, straws and utensils.

May 05, 2021

Burger King Restaurant

MIAMI—Burger King has begun testing more environmentally friendly straws, utensils and wrappers as part of the chain’s move toward more sustainable packaging, CNN Business reports. More than 50 locations in Miami are in a “green packaging pilot program” that eliminates plastic and cardboard in favor of alternative materials.

One example is the new Frypods container for French fries that are made with a new recyclable paperboard. Burger King also has plant-based cutlery and paper straws, as well as a new strawless lid that it says could wipe out about 500 million plastic straws from U.S. stores if implemented nationwide. Additionally, a trial of new Whopper sandwich wrappers is under way and could reduce the chain’s paper usage by as much as 34% if introduced nationally.

The QSR wants customer feedback on the new packaging ahead of a nationwide change in 2022.

“This pilot gives us the opportunity to gain knowledge and provide learnings for the industry while getting us one step closer toward our goal of advancing packaging sustainability by improving materials and reducing overall packaging used, including single-use plastics,” Burger King said.

Burger King also has tested reusable cups and containers in New York, Tokyo and Portland, Ore., where the chain worked with Loop by TerraCycle on hamburger containers and beverage cups that were sanitized and reused. This all lines up with the company’s commitment to sustainability, including initiatives such as a Whopper made from lemongrass-fed beef, which slashes methane emissions, and having 100% of its guest packaging made from recycled, renewable or certified sources. The chain also wants to move toward recycling all guest packaging in U.S. and Canadian restaurants over the next few years.

More consumers are asking for safe, sustainable food packaging. A late April survey found that  67% of consumers want recyclable products. Convenience stores are also interested in sustainability. Reitan Convenience has invested in sustainable c-stores with its new PBX brand store opening this summer in Sweden.

To read more about sustainable packaging, check out “Sustainable-and Safe” in NACS Magazine.

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