McDonalds restaurant chain considers replacement for EPS foam cups

21 March 2012 21:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based fast-food restaurant chain McDonald's is undergoing limited testing of a double-walled fibre hot cup as a potential replacement for its polystyrene foam beverage cups, the company confirmed on Wednesday.

The testing is taking place in about 2,000 restaurants in the US, primarily on the West Coast, said Ashlee Yingling, spokeswoman for McDonalds.

The testing, part of the company's efforts to "seek more environmentally sustainable solutions", is designed to assess customer acceptance, operational impact and overall performance of the fibre cups, Yingling said.

At this time, future plans for more testing or wider release of the fibre cups have not been determined, she said.

The test is in response to a 2011 shareholder resolution filed by As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy organisation, which asked McDonalds to asses the environmental impacts of different kinds of beverage containers and to develop packaging recycling goals, according to a press release from the nonprofit organisation.

"This is a great first step for McDonald's and we hope it will lead to a permanent switch to paper cups in all of its restaurants," said Conrad MacKerron, senior programme director at As You Sow. "Given the company's history of using high levels of recycled content in other food packaging, we hope that it follows suit with its cups, and also establishes a robust recycling programme for post-consumer waste left in its restaurants."

McDonalds began to phase out foam-based clamshell food containers in 1990. However, the company continues to use foam-based beverage cups, MacKerron said.


By: Michelle Klump
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