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Burger King testing reusable food packaging in zero-waste effort

Burger King plans to test reusable food containers beginning in 2021 as part of its efforts to reduce waste.

The trial will partner with TerraCycle's zero-waste delivery platform Loop, a program that allows consumers an alternative to recycling that still diminishes overall waste and environmental impact, according to an official press release.

Customers at Burger King will be able to choose reusable packaging for menu items including food, soft drinks and coffee. Those who choose the reusable option can return the containers to Burger King restaurants to be cleaned.

"As part of our Restaurant Brands for Good plan, we're investing in the development of sustainable packaging solutions that will help push the food service industry forward in reducing packaging waste," said Matthew Banton, head of innovation and sustainability at Burger King Global.

One caveat of the program is the small deposit customers must pay for reusable vessels, though refunds are offered upon returning them.

Burger King restaurants in New York, Portland, Ore., and Tokyo will be the first to rollout Loop's reusable container program, with plans to add more cities in the future.

The sustainability efforts come as the fast-food chain announced last month it would remove artificial preservatives from its Whopper burgers in a push to provide healthier selections to consumers.

More fast-food companies have committed to sustainability in recent years, and McDonald's previously partnered with Loop's program.

Last month, two large retailers in the United Kingdom also partnered with Loop to provide reusable containers to reduce packaging waste, CNN reported.

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