MIAMI --Burger King is launching a green packaging pilot program focused on finding scalable solutions for eight of its most-used, guest-facing items including forks, spoons, knives, straws, drink lids, Frypods , Whopper wrappers and napkins.
The guest packaging will be tested in 51 company-owned restaurants in Miami and utilizes alternative materials, such as Frypods made with renewable unbleached virgin paperboard; cutlery made with cPLA, a plant-based plastic; and napkins made with 100 percent recycled fiber. The company will also be testing paper and plant-based straws along with strawless lids, which could potentially eliminate up to 500 million single-use plastic straws annually from participating U.S. Burger King restaurants.
According to the company, this action alone would translate to the removal of 910 metric tons of greenhouse gasses per year, the equivalent of 196 vehicles driven for one year. The company is also testing two new options for Whopper sandwich wraps, which represent a 13 percent and 34 percent reduction in paper compared to previous wraps, respectively. This could translate to an additional 500 to 1,500 metric tons of paper waste eliminated annually across the U.S., the company says.
“Sustainable packaging is a cornerstone of our Restaurant Brands for Good journey, and this new pilot represents a huge opportunity for us to make a difference,” said Matthew Banton, head of innovation and sustainability, Burger King. “We’re optimistic about our progress and are committed to reducing waste to do our part in creating a more sustainable future.”
By piloting solutions in restaurants, the company can get direct feedback from customers on how the packages perform, make iterative changes with its supplier, and build an implementation roadmap for the system. Upon completion of the pilot test, the company will take the learnings and feedback to form plans for nationwide sustainable packaging in the next year.