Burger King is committed to being part of a more sustainable future by reducing our environmental footprint. That’s why today, the chain is continuing its journey by launching a green packaging pilot program focused on finding scalable solutions for eight of our 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 of the brand’s 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. Burger King 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. 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 chain 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.
“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,” says 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, Burger King said it can get direct feedback from guests 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 guest feedback to inform its plans for nationwide sustainable packaging in the next year. This pilot gives Burger King the opportunity to gain knowledge and provide learnings for the industry while getting us one step closer toward its goal of advancing packaging sustainability by improving materials and reducing overall packaging used, including single-use plastics.
The green packaging pilot is another action Burger King is taking to align with its principle of doing what’s right. In that spirit, the company is continuing to develop its global partnership with Loop to reduce single-use packaging through reusables and are looking to include two new cities, Paris and London, in addition to the earlier announced target cities of New York, Portland, and Tokyo. Burger King’s reusable pilot will offer more guests the option to join it in its efforts to reduce waste when ordering their Burger King favorites like the Whopper sandwich, soft drink or coffee.
Understanding that sustainability requires partnership throughout the supply chain, Burger King is partnering with The Coca-Cola Company and Kraft Heinz to bring these initiatives to life. Leveraging combined size and resources, the company said it will work together to provide insights, packaging expertise and resources on these pilots, helping to maximize future national potential.
“We continue to innovate and rethink how consumers enjoy Coca-Cola beverages. We are excited to partner with Burger King to offer a reusable packaging alternative for their guests,” says Barry Danckert, vice president, Global RBI Customer Team, The Coca-Cola Company. “This effort supports The Coca-Cola Company’s World Without Waste initiative and virgin plastic reduction goal.”
“Burger King has been leading the charge in foodservice sustainability and Kraft Heinz is excited to partner with them and Loop to offer reusable packaging around the world. Global companies and global brands have the power to help shape the world for good and Kraft Heinz is committed to a better future with responsible recycling and reusable initiatives,” adds Peter Hall, president, U.S. Away From Home, Kraft Heinz.