Tim Hortons Announces Series of New Sustainability Initiatives

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Tim Hortons’ reusable, returnable packaging program to be piloted with zero-waste platform Loop

TORONTO — Tim Hortons is embarking on the next steps in its mission to improve its environmental impact with a series of initiatives to celebrate Waste Reduction Week.

“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,” says Hope Bagozzi, Chief Marketing Officer. “Last week, we announced we’re in the process of phasing in paper straws, which is expected to eliminate 300-million plastic straws from restaurants over the next year. And for Waste Reduction Week, we’re excited to share a series of other sustainability initiatives that will have a significant impact on protecting our environment.”

Starting November 4, all Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada will stop the practice of double-cupping and will instead offer guests a recyclable cardboard sleeve for their hot drinks. The move is expected to eliminate the use of more than 200-million cups per year.

These initiatives also include improvements to its paper napkins, which guests will see in restaurants in early 2021. The new napkins are made with 100-per-cent recycled fibre and use 25-per-cent less material, which is expected to save 900 tonnes of paper each year.

The brand is also preparing to roll out new paper-based wrappers for sandwiches and bagels that are fully recyclable, while also cutting the use of paper by 17 per cent annually. The new packaging, expected to be in restaurants in January, will replace the current plastic-lined wrappers and is estimated to reduce more than 460 tonnes of plastics over the next year.

And, on Thursday, Tim Hortons announced a new partnership with TerraCycle’s zero-waste platform, Loop. The new program will be piloted in Toronto starting next year, offering guests the option of paying a deposit and receiving reusable and returnable cups or food containers with their order to reduce packaging waste.

When guests are finished their drinks or meals, they can return their re-usable cups or containers at a participating restaurant and have their deposit refunded. These items are then professionally cleaned and sanitized by Loop so they can be re-used.

“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,” says Bagozzi.

Tim Hortons also recently expanded a trial in restaurants in Calgary and Toronto that focuses on testing hot-beverage cups made with 30-per-cent recycled materials. And, in the coming weeks, the brand will launch a pilot project at select restaurants in Vancouver with an aim of introducing a new hot-beverage cup with a lining that is recyclable and compostable.

Last year, Tim Hortons also launched a new strawless lid for iced beverages, which was estimated to remove 90-million plastic straws out of circulation annually. Its latest hot-beverage lid, introduced last year, is made from polypropylene, a material that is 100-per-cent recyclable and accepted in 95 per cent of curbside recycling programs across Canada. Approximately 30 per cent of lids on hot-beverage cups today are 100-per-cent recyclable and the full transition is expected to be complete by the end of 2021.

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