Wellingborough McDonald's world first with sustainable cup pilot scheme

Six restaurants across Wellingborough and Northampton are taking part in the trial

By Alison Bagley
Friday, 16th July 2021, 12:29 pm
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 12:30 pm

Customers at Wellingborough McDonald's outlets will be global pioneers as a trial for returnable hot drink cups takes place in the county.

The world-first scheme for the brand will help customers in Wellingborough and Northampton waste less when they buy drinks

Six McDonald’s restaurants in the county have been chosen to pilot a sustainability project, in conjunction with global reuse platform Loop, that will see the introduction of returnable coffee cups on the menu.

McDonald's has partnered with Loop for a global trial in Wellingborough and Northampton

For just a £1 deposit, customers can choose to have their hot drink in a returnable Loop cup, helping reduce the amount of single use coffee cups going to recycling or landfill. And as a thank-you they will receive a 20p discount on their purchase.

McDonald’s Franchisee Perry Akhtar said: “As a local business owner in Northampton and Wellingborough I am thrilled that my restaurants were picked to trial this scheme. McDonald’s is on a journey to reduce the impact that we have on the planet, and I am proud that my restaurants have an opportunity to play a role in that. I hope that customers across the area will take this opportunity to try the Loop cup and in the process save more and waste less.

“My restaurant teams are heavily involved in helping to clean up our local environment through daily litter patrols and larger scale litter picks. It is great to see McDonald’s trialing a solution that will mean less packaging is given out to our customers.”

The six participating restaurants are in London Road and Wilby Way, Wellingborough, as well as four outlets in Northampton St James’ Retail Park, Riverside Retail Park, The Drapery and Weston Favell shopping centre.

Wellingborough McDonald's in London Road

Customers are encouraged to bring their cup back to one of the specific Loop branded collection bins at participating restaurants for it to be sent for cleaning and to be used again. Those that do will receive 20p off their next medium hot drink order – meaning that after just five returns and subsequent orders, customers will break even and will continue to receive 20p off every time they pick a Loop cup.

The scheme is available in restaurants and at the drive thru. Customers are able to rent a cup for the duration of their visit, and simply return it at a time that suits them. If a customer forgets their cup at their next visit they can pay another £1 deposit and return both cups next time.

The cups are made from engineered polypropylene (PP) plastic which is durable and easily cleaned, but the amount of plastic has been reduced by using recycled paper cup material in the outer insulation layer. This not only saves material, but also gives the cups a unique look and feel. Plus when the reusable cups eventually reach their end of life usage they are recycled with the resulting material being used to make the next batch of reusable cups.

Loop head of communications Stephen Clarke said: “Consumers are increasingly asking for more environmentally responsible options, which is why Loop is delighted to partner with McDonald’s on this ground-breaking food service industry partnership.

Cups can be returned using the special Loop deposit recycling bins

"We hope it paves the way for reusables to become an accessible option for consumers as they enjoy their meal on the go.”

Over the last few years McDonald’s has saved more than 4,000 tonnes of plastic every year from its packaging by removing plastic Happy Meal toys and by switching from plastic straws,

The restaurants also plan to move away from plastic wherever possible and, where it does need to use it for safety or functional reasons, it will only use 100 per cent recycled or plant-based plastics. All packaging materials will also be fully recyclable or compostable, eliminating waste which must go to landfill.

The cups can be purchased in restaurants