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McDonald’s Canada Concept Restaurants Test Sustainable Packaging

McDonald’s Canada Concept Restaurants Test Sustainable Packaging
(Photo: A McDonald’s exterior in Toronto. Credit: McDonald’s Canada)

McDonald’s Canada is putting sustainable packaging options and recycling initiatives to the test at two “Green Concept Restaurants.” These quick service restaurants will serve as incubators for new cups, lids, cutlery, stir sticks, and straws made from renewable, recycled, or certified sources.

Testing is scheduled to begin over the next few months at one McDonald’s Canada restaurant located in London, Ontario and one in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company says that, alongside current packaging, the two locations will test a medium-sized fully re-pulpable cold beverage cup that has an aqueous coating accepted in recycling streams. In addition, the restaurants will offer customers wooden cutlery, wooden stir sticks, and paper straws.

The company also plans to introduce lids for all three cold cup sizes that are made from 100% Forest Stewardship Council certified wood fiber. Besides being recyclable, these lids allow direct sipping, which McDonald’s Canada says should help reduce straw use. Last year McDonald’s joined the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge to develop fully recyclable and compostable cups.

By 2025, the quick service restaurant chain’s global goal is to have 100% of its guest packaging come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources. McDonald’s also committed to recycling guest packaging in 100% of their restaurants by the same year.

In Canada, the company reports introducing napkins with 100% recycled fiber for all restaurants, transitioning from a carton to a wrap for McWraps, eliminating foam from the gravy bowl and breakfast platter, and lightweighting small hot cups. They added How2Recycle labels to Happy Meal boxes, clear cups, and carryout bags as well.

“We know that when we innovate in our supply chain we can move the market, as we’ve done with beef from certified sustainable sources, chicken raised without antibiotics important to human health, and cage-free eggs,” said Rob Dick, supply chain officer at McDonald’s Canada.

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