McDonald’s will test their “Green Concept” restaurant in Vancouver

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With a sweeping plastics ban on the horizon for the nation, and the “straw ban” even closer for Vancouver proper, fast food chains are scrambling to change their packaging in order to be less wasteful. Now McDonald’s Canada has revealed their plans to test out some aggressive new eco-friendly packaging and recycling strategies at a “Green Concept” restaurant that will operate in Vancouver.

McDonald’s needs to ditch the plastic. Photo via McDonald’s Canada/Facebook

As part of their mission to “reduce its environmental footprint and source 100 per cent of guest packaging from renewable and/or recycled materials,” McDonald’s Canada will use their location at 3444 E Hastings Street in Vancouver, as well as a London, Ontario location, as “incubator” restaurants to try out some new stuff, according to a media release.

While the “Green Concept” locations will use much of what’s currently in use at their many restaurants, the plan is to try out several new packaging items. Those items include:

  • A fully re-pulpable cup for cold beverages. In a first for quick-serve restaurants (QSR) in Canada, this cup uses an aqueous coating that is acceptable in recycling streams, and will be in the medium size.
  • New fibre lids. In another Canadian QSR first, the lids are made from 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood fibre and are recyclable. The lid allows for direct sipping so customers can skip the straw. This lid will be tested on all cold cup sizes.
  • Wooden cutlery
  • Wooden stir sticks
  • Paper straws

Other changes the mega fast food chain has undertaken to reduce their eco-footprint include having smaller napkins made of 100% recycled fibre, ditching the McWrap carton, no longer using foam for items like the breakfast platter, and removing a layer of paper from their small coffee cup.

Globally, McDonald’s has committed that by 2025, 100 percent of McDonald’s guest packaging will come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources, and the global chain is also committed to ensuring that 100 per cent of fibre-based packaging is sourced from recycled or certified sources by 2020.

In the meantime, customers ordering up food – and more specifically, cold drinks – from the “Green Concept” location can expect to see those test market items soon.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom