Starting in 2021, Burger King will begin offering customers the option to receive their orders in reusable boxes. The fast-food chain will be partnering with Loop to distribute sustainable containers in restaurants in Tokyo, New York City, and Portland Oregon.

Fast Company reported the pilot will allow customers to choose if they want reusable beverage cups and sandwich containers that can be returned, sanitized, and reused by the restaurant.

Loop will be in charge of properly cleaning and sterilizing the containers so they can be safely reused by the restaurant. Customers will be charged a deposit for opting for the reusable packaging and receive a refund upon its return.

Burger King and Loop are hoping to use materials that will allow the packaging to be used at least 100 times.

Matt Banton, global head of innovation and sustainability at Burger King, insisted the packaging will be safe to reuse amid the coronavirus pandemic. “The Loop system gives us the confidence in a reusable solution that meets our high safety standards, while also offering convenience for our guests on the go,” he said.

Banton revealed that the move will lower the restaurant’s effect on the environment. “The benefit is, you’re able to serve your guests without having to create that single-use item in the first place,” he explained.

“This product is durable enough to go through the system multiple times, so it’s ultimately reducing our environmental impact, and minimizing the amount of single-use packaging that we have to produce as well.”

Depending on how well the pilot does, Burger King may expand its eco-friendly packaging to other cities. “We know that sustainability is here to stay,” Banton said.

“It’s something that our guests are looking for, and are starting to be more perceptive of who has sustainable practice and not. And we also know that we have to innovate and sometimes take risks and test things as well.”

Burger King
The Burger King logo is pictured. AFP/Paul J. RICHARDS