Burger King to Test Reusable Packaging

The fast food chain is making efforts toward greater sustainability.

Have you ever thought about how much paper and cardboard goes into packing up a typical fast food meal? There’s the wrapper on the burger, the box for the fries, the drink cup, and the bag it all goes in. For a single order, it’s not much, but millions of people order fast food every day. That’s a lot of paper waste on a daily basis. In an effort to dial that waste back a bit, one chain is trying to create more sustainable packaging.

Starting next year, Burger King will begin testing reusable packaging in select locations in New York, Portland, and Tokyo, with more locations to follow if all goes well. When you order food at a participating restaurant, you can opt in for reusable packaging for sandwiches, cold drinks, and hot drinks. When you’re done eating, you just bring the packaging back to the counter. One caveat, though; when you opt in for reusable packaging, you’ll need to pay a small deposit, which you’ll get back after you return everything. This is presumably to prevent customers from getting the reusable packaging and then just throwing it out like normal.

This is all being conducted in a partnership between Burger King and Loop, a zero-waste program created by TerraCycle. It’s the latest effort on the fast food chain’s part to increase its own sustainability, with previous endeavors including certified grass-fed beef, recycled paper for food packaging, and planning to recycle all paper waste from a location in the next five years. This actually isn’t the first time Loop has teamed up with a fast food chain, as their recent partnership with McDonald’s has yielded a reusable drink cup to be made available in the United Kingdom next year.

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