McDonald’s Corp. said it will weigh the pros and cons of reusable packaging in its restaurants worldwide, addressing an environmental predicament as European laws have begun to force the fast-food titan to offer its fare in more durable containers.
According to a report by Dieter Holger for Foodmarket, the Chicago-based company said it would release a report next year that will examine both the negative and positive environmental impacts of reusable packaging across its restaurants globally. The chain is already serving fries, Happy Meals, burgers and drinks in reusable containers for meals served on-site in its French outlets, and upon request for takeout in Germany.
The McDonald’s report will draw on those experiences and others to assess the opportunities, risks and environmental impact of reusables, a McDonald’s spokeswoman said. The company said it would also “assess reuse in comparison to additional circular solutions, such as advancing recycling of McDonald’s packaging, which is primarily fiber-based.”
Takeaway food and beverage packaging makes up 88% of the world’s coastline litter, according to a 2021 study published in the journal Nature. Investors and governments are increasingly pressuring restaurants to cut plastic waste, which has led fast food chains to consider reusing, and eventually recycling, plastic utensils, cups and other tableware.