facebook pixal

Wendy’s will start using more easily recycled cups

The burger chain said it plans to start serving clear plastic drink cups in early 2022.
Wendy's cups
Photograph: Shutterstock

Wendy’s wants you to recycle their cups.

The Dublin, Ohio-based burger chain on Wednesday said it would start serving drinks in clear plastic cups early next year.

The company said the single-substrate cups will be more easily recycled than its plastic-lined paper cups. Wendy’s worked with plastics packaging companies Berry Global and LyondellBasell on the cups, which get 20% of their plastic from recycled material.

Wendy’s said it would start using the large cups made from more recycled plastic in the U.S. and Canada in early 2022. All drink cups will use recycled plastic in 2023. The company said it should be able to increase the amount of recycled plastic in its cups over time.

The company said it is working with Berry to expand its use of recycled plastic in its cups and expects to divert 10 million pounds of waste from landfills in the first two years of the program.

The move comes as more restaurant chains are pushing to increase the sustainability of their sourcing on everything from packaging to beef. On Wednesday Panera Bread said it would be “climate positive” by 2050 while both McDonald’s and Burger King have vowed to eliminate emissions by then.

A number of chains have also started changing their packaging to be more recyclable and reusable. Wendy’s, for instance, joined Closed Loop Partners, an industry-wide collaboration to accelerate the use of commercially viable, circular packaging options. The chain has also vowed to sustainably source all of its packaging by 2026.

“Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact of single-use waste, and we want to do our part as a leader in the quick-service restaurant industry to provide more sustainable options,” Liliana Esposito, Wendy’s chief corporate affairs and sustainability officer, said in a statement.


Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Want breaking news at your fingertips?

Get today’s need-to-know restaurant industry intelligence. Sign up to receive texts from Restaurant Business on news and insights that matter to your brand.


More from our partners