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Burger King UK becomes first fast food company to trial reusable packaging

In the loop: The restaurant chain becomes latest major brand to announce partnership with re-usable packaging service provider Loop.

burger king reusable packaging

The new packaging will be professionally cleaned prior to re-use. Image courtesy of Burger King.

Burger King UK is to trial reusable and returnable packaging, in support of its efforts to slash single-use plastic from its restaurants by 2025.

The company last week announced it has partnered with global re-use platform Loop to introduce a scheme in five branches where customers will have the option to pay $1.26 deposit for a reusable cup or container instead of using throwaway packaging.

Burger King restaurants in Ipswich and Newmarket in Suffolk will undertake a five-month pilot that will offer customers the option to choose 10 Burger King products that can be served in the Loop reusable packaging, including a range of burgers and sides, as well as drinks.

When customers return the reusable cup or container, they can do so by downloading the Loop app, scanning the barcode on either the cup or container and returning it into a Loop bin. Loop bins will be placed outside selected Burger King restaurants where the trials are taking place, as well as in other locations listed on the Loop app.

All returned cups or containers are then professionally cleaned using a state-of-the-art cleaning system, with customers refunded their deposits via the app.

The pilot with Burger King in the UK follows a similar trial with the fast-food brand announced in New Jersey last month.

"The partnership between Loop and Burger King enables customers… to trial re-usable packaging when ordering their favourite burgers, sides and drinks," said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle and Loop. "Consumer demand for more sustainable options is at an all-time high and the customer response to this exciting trial will be used to inform future plans for a long-term reusable and returnable packaging scheme."

Loop already works with a host of major brands, including Tesco, Coca-Cola and Kraft. The pilot with Burger King in the UK follows a similar trial with the fast-food brand announced in New Jersey last month.

Nicola Pierce, director of commercial planning and ESG at Burger King, said: "We're delighted to unveil a trial range of reusable and returnable packaging for our restaurants. The launch of the new packaging from Burger King will include the first-ever reusable and returnable ‘clamshell' for burgers and sides in the UK. We're excited to see how the trial performs over the next five months and help us reach our goal of eliminating single-use plastic within our restaurants by 2025."

The pilot is the latest in a series of moves from the company to deliver on its goal to slash its value chain emissions by 41 percent per restaurant by 2030. Last month, the company also trialled its first fully vegan branch in London serving a range of options including "Cheeze and Bakon" burger, a plant-based "Bakon Double Cheeeze XL," a vegan nugget burger and "vegan chilli cheeze bites."

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