The pilot, which will run until 5 September 2022, has been developed in partnership with global reuse platform Loop. Customers will be given the option to pay a £1 deposit for a reusable cup or container (the latter known as a ‘clamshell’) instead of using throwaway packaging, which they can have refunded upon return of their cups or containers.
A total of 10 Burger King products will be available to order in the Loop reusable packaging including chilli cheese bites and the fast food giant's signature Whopper burger, with five restaurants in Ipswich and Newmarket taking part in the trial.
Customer responses to the pilot will be used to inform future plans for a long-term re-usable and returnable packaging scheme.
The announcement forms part of Burger King UK's plans to reduce carbon emissions, with a target of 41% reduction in value chain emissions per restaurant by 2030, and 0% single-use plastic by 2025.
“We’re delighted to unveil a trial range of reusable and returnable packaging for our restaurants,” says Nicola Pierce from Burger King UK.
“We’re excited to see how the trial performs over the next five months and help us reach our goal of eliminating single-use plastic within our restaurants by 2025.”
When customers return the reusable cup or container, they can do so by downloading the Loop app, scanning the barcode on either the cup or container and returning it into a Loop bin.
Loop bins will be placed outside selected Burger King UK restaurants where the trials are taking place, as well as in other locations found via the Loop app.
Customers who return their cups or containers will be refunded their deposit, with all returned cups or containers being professionally cleaned using Loop’s own cleaning system, which is scientifically designed to sanitise each item before reuse and then put back into the cycle.
“The partnership between Loop and Burger King UK enables customers in selected UK restaurants a simple and convenient way to trial reusable packaging when ordering their favourite burgers, sides and drinks,” says Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Loop.
“Consumer demand for more sustainable options is at an all-time high and the customer response to this exciting trial will be used to inform future plans for a long-term reusable and returnable packaging scheme.”
Burger King is by no means the first quick-service brand to try and encourage customers to use reusable packaging, although it is understood to be the first in the fast food space to trial their use.
Sandwich chain Pret A Manger offers customers a 50p discount on hot drinks if they have a reusable cup; while coffee giant Starbucks charges 5p for paper cups in a bid to further encourage customers to bring in a reusable cup, with customers using reusable cups also receiving a 25p discount off any Starbucks drink.