TORONTO – McDonald’s Canada is testing a variety of sustainable packaging solutions in what the company is calling its first Green Concept Restaurants in London, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia. The goal of the tests is to reduce the chain’s environmental footprint while sourcing 100 percent of packaging from renewable and/or recycled materials.

The first green packaging solutions McDonald’s Canada plans to test include fully re-pulpable medium-size cups for cold beverages which the company says are a first for a Canadian quick-service restaurant. The cups feature an aqueous coating that is acceptable in recycling streams. New fiber lids will be tested on all three cold cup sizes. The lids are made from 100 percent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood fiber and are recyclable with the added benefit that customers can sip from the cups directly thus reducing use of straws.

The test extends to utensils – Green Concept Restaurants will offer customers wooden cutlery and stir sticks, and paper straws, according to McDonald’s Canada.

“We are proud of the progress our Canadian organization is making towards our global packaging sustainability goals – it matters to our guests and we will continue taking our environmental responsibility seriously,” said John Betts, president and CEO at McDonald’s Canada. “Our Green Concept Restaurants are an exciting new innovation as part of our on-going sustainable journey. They are an example of how we’re able to use our scale for good and keep raising the bar on what it means to be a responsible company committed to people and the planet.”

The Green Concept Restaurants continue McDonald’s push to adopt environmentally friendly sourcing practices. McDonald’s Canada expects the green packaging solutions, along with other changes, will remove more than 1,500 tons of packaging materials from the McDonald’s Canada system. For example, McDonald’s Canada restaurants transitioned from a McWrap carton to a wrap, which the company expects will eliminate more than 400 tons of packaging. Also, gravy bowls and breakfast platters are no longer served in foam, which removed more than 130 tons of the material from the system, according to McDonald’s Canada.

“As a leader in the quick-service industry, I’m proud that we’re taking bold moves to drive forward on the important topic of packaging and our environment,” said Rob Dick, supply chain officer at McDonald’s Canada. “We know that when we innovate in our supply chain, we can move the market, as we’ve done with beef from certified sustainable sources, chicken raised without antibiotics important to human health and cage-free eggs.”

Globally, McDonald’s Corp. has committed to a goal of sourcing 100 percent of packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025. In addition, McDonald’s also set 2025 to reach its goal to recycle guest packaging in 100 percent of McDonald’s restaurants.