McDonald's has announced a global partnership with TerraCycle's circular packaging service, Loop, to test a new reusable cup model for hot beverages.

This new collaboration aims to allow customers to reduce waste by choosing a durable Loop-created cup, for a small deposit. The deposit can then be redeemed by returning the cup to participating McDonald's UK restaurants in order to be safely washed through the Loop system and reused in McDonald's restaurants. 

"We're on a journey to rethink how we package products to give customers options that reduce waste, maintain the highest safety standards, and enhance the McDonald's experience they expect and enjoy. That's an innovation challenge, and it's one we think the Loop model has potential to help us solve," comments Jenny McColloch, vice president of global sustainability at McDonald's.

 "Our commitment to communities is one of our core values as a company, and this pilot will generate important local insights and lessons to share along the way. We're excited to assess how new reusable packaging models could work within our system as we accelerate circular packaging solutions with our partners around the globe."

"This groundbreaking partnership with McDonald's enables Loop to greatly expand its reach by bringing convenient reusable packaging options to the food service industry," adds TerraCycle and Loop CEO, Tom Szaky. "The partnership paves the way for reusables to become an accessible option for consumers as they enjoy their meal on the go."

The Loop initiative aligns with continued investments from McDonald's to test and scale circular solutions for cups around the world including the "Recup" system in Germany,  and exploration into fully recoverable hot and cold fibre cups and reusable cup systems through a partnership with the NextGen Cup Challenge in the United States.

"If we're going to curb the plastic waste crisis we need to invest in data-driven strategies that reduce our demand for virgin plastic," said Erin Simon, head of plastic and business at World Wide Fund for Nature. "For McDonald's and the larger food and beverage sector, reuse will be one component of any reduction strategy. As a society, we need to ensure the plastics we use today are the plastics we'll be able to use again in the future."