QSRs, Grocers, Drugstores Test Reusable Packaging

Burger King and Walgreens in the U.S. and McDonalds in the U.K. are among others using Loop’s reusable packaging programs.

September 24, 2021

Burger King Reusable Packaging

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Fast-food restaurants, grocery stores and drugstores in the U.S., Europe and Asia are partnering with Loop, a program that collects, cleans and redistributes reusable packaging, to test reusable packaging, reports the Associated Press. According to Loop, by the first quarter of 2022, 191 stores and restaurants across the globe will be selling products in reusable packages.

Select Burger Kings in New York City and Tokyo, Tim Hortons in Toronto and McDonalds in the U.K. will distribute and collect reusable cups and sandwich holders made from hard plastic. Loop will charge a refundable deposit for each piece of reusable packaging, and customers can get their refund by scanning the container on the Loop app and return it to the fast-food location, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In grocery stores, there will be an area designated for Loop where major brands have packaged pantry items, household cleaners and other products in reusable containers. More than 150 manufacturers will be participating worldwide by early next year, selling 375 products. Shoppers then pay a deposit plus the price of the item, and when they are finished with the product, they return the container to the store for their refund via the Loop app.

According to TerraCycle, which Loop is a division of, founder and CEO Tom Szaky told AP that before the 1950s, products were made to last, but they’ve gotten thinner and cheaper in the decades since.

“We’re hitting the apex of that now, and people are fed up with that trend,” Szaky said. “There’s a huge attraction to the idea of higher quality and materials.”

While recent efforts to provide sustainable solutions in retail have been derailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s strong evidence that environmental concerns, particularly with regard to plastic packaging, are a top priority once more. NACS Magazine covered how sustainability concerns are back on the agenda for retailers in the April 2021 issue.

The “Product Packaging and Selection” section of the NACS Sustainability Playbook suggests ideas and resources for retailers who are looking for packaging options that can be easily recycled or has a smaller environmental footprint.

NACS Show attendees will have the chance to see exciting new packaging innovations on the expo floor. Register today for the NACS Show taking place October 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago.