Burger King is giving its most-used items, like utensils, straws and wrappers, an environmentally friendly makeover as part of the company’s continued push to reduce waste.
Restaurants in more than 50 locations across Miami are currently participating in a “green packaging pilot program” that ditches plastic and cardboard for alternative materials.
For example, french fry containers — aptly called Frypods — are being made with a new recyclable paperboard. Burger King is also testing new cutlery that’s made with plant-based plastics, paper straws and a new strawless lids that could eliminate roughly 500 million plastic straws from its US restaurants. New options for its Whopper sandwich wraps are also being trialed, which would lead to a reduction in the company’s paper usage by as much as 34%.
Burger King said it’s seeking feedback from customers so it can make changes that will eventually lead to a nationwide rollout in the next year.
“This pilot gives us the opportunity to gain knowledge and provide learnings for the industry while getting us one step closer towards our goal of advancing packaging sustainability by improving materials and reducing overall packaging used, including single-use plastics,” the company said in a statement.
The Miami-based program is in addition to another test of reusable containers and cups that occurred in New York, Portland and Tokyo. In those three cities, Burger King partnered with TerraCycle’s zero-waste delivery platform, Loop, to test a new hamburger container and beverage cup that was cleaned and reused.
These efforts are part of the company’s continuing sustainability efforts. Last year, the fast food chain announced a version of its Whopper made from lemongrass-fed beef, which it said would cut methane emissions.
Other commitments from the company include having 100% of its restaurants’ guest packaging come from renewable, recycle or certified sources, and recycling all guest packaging at its restaurants in the United States and Canada in the coming years.