Canadian-based restaurant chain Tim Hortons announced today a partnership with TerraCycle’s zero-waste platform, Loop, to introduce reusable food packaging solutions into its restaurants. The announcement comes as part of a series of waste reductions introduced this week by Tim Hortons, as part of the company’s celebration of ‘Waste Reduction Week.’

According to Tim Hortons, the pilot program being launched with Loop will give guests the option of paying a deposit and receiving reusable and returnable cups or food containers with their order, in an effort to reduce single-use waste. After guests return their reusable containers and have their deposits refunded, the container will be professionally cleaned and sanitized by Loop so for reuse. The pilot test is expected to start in 2021 at select Toronto restaurants.

Hope Bagozzi, Chief Marketing Officer of Tim Hortons, said:

“To really make an impact, we know we need to do something completely different. And as Canada’s quick service restaurant leader, we also know it’s our responsibility to be bold in that change. That’s why we’re really excited to be announcing this industry-leading initiative. A first of its kind in Canada that focuses on reusables.”

Tom Szaky, TerraCycle and Loop CEO, said:

“During COVID, we have seen that consumers have relied more on single-use cups and containers due to health restrictions. This initiative by Tim Hortons signals that getting back to adopting reusable containers will be important when those restrictions are lifted.

“This partnership with Tim Hortons will allow guests to easily bring reusability into their daily lives, and whether they choose to eat-in or takeaway, they will be able to get some of their favourite food and drinks in a reusable container.”

Throughout the past week, Tim Hortons has introduced several other waste reduction initiatives. For example, the company announced that it will eliminate the use of plastic-based wrappers for sandwiches and bagels, replacing them with fully recyclable paper wrappers, which it estimates will lead to a reduction of more than 460 tonnes of plastics over the next year. The company also announced that it has made significant improvements to its paper napkins, which will be made with 100 per cent recycled fibre and use 25 per cent less material, saving 900 tonnes of paper annually. Finally, the company announced it would end the practice of “double-cupping,” instead offering guests a recyclable cardboard sleeve for their hot drinks, eliminate the unnecessary use of more than 200 million cups per year.

The new initiatives followed the company’s announcement last week that it will eliminate around 300 million plastic straws from its restaurants over the next year, completely transitioning to paper straws by early 2021.

Bagozzi said:

“We’re committed to the simple principle of doing what’s right. As one of the largest restaurant companies in Canada, it’s both our responsibility and opportunity to advance sustainability however we can.”