McDonald’s goes green with new concept restos

The burger chain will introduce fibre lids, re-pulpable cups and other changes in stores in London, Ont. and Vancouver.

close-up-mcdonaldsThe Golden Arches sees a golden opportunity with a new concept. As part of its sustainability push, McDonald’s Canada announced the opening of two new “green” concept stores offering fibre lids and re-pulpable cups for cold beverages – Canadian QSR firsts, according to the brand.

The restaurants, located in London, Ont. and Vancouver, will act as incubator trial runs for the new packaging options. The company is aiming to reduce its environmental footprint and source 100% of its guest packaging from renewable and/or recycled sources by 2025.

The first testings will include a cup that uses an aqueous coating that’s acceptable in recycling streams, wooden cutlery and stir sticks (certified by the Forest Stewardship Council) and paper straws. The QSR’s two locations will also feature scaled down napkins produced with recycled fibers.

According to the president and CEO John Betts, the company is proud of the progress it’s making toward its packaging and sustainability goals globally.  “Our green concept restaurants are an exciting new innovation as part of our on-going sustainable journey,” he said in a press release.

Overt the last year, QSRs have come under increasing pressure to reduce the waste they produce, which has recently led some businesses, including competitor A&W, to announce measures including the elimination of single-use plastic straws.

According to Zero Waste Canada, 14 billion cups of coffee are consumed in Canada annually, 35% of which are grabbed to go — mostly in the form of single-use cups, which represents, according to estimates, more than 35,000 tonnes of paper.

According to McDonald’s the company’s recent lightweighting of its small hot coffee cup – removing paper from the outer layer of the cup – eliminates more than 123 tons of paper produced. In March, competitor Starbucks announced its new lid packaging technology to replace one billion disposable straws. And in July 2018 Starbucks announced it would phase out plastic straws from more than 30,000 stores worldwide by 2020.

In a 2018 Greenpeace audit of trash collected from Canadian shorelines, Nestlé, Tim Hortons, PepsiCo, the Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s, were the top waste producers (Starbucks placed in the Top 10 as well).

The news follows the Canadian government’s plans, announced earlier in June, to enact a ban on single-use plastics by early 2021 in response to consumer demand for more environmentally friendly options.