The prototype cup removes the plastic lining still used in paper cups across the restaurant sector.
"While sustainable fibre already makes up the majority of our packaging, removing the plastic liner has been a particularly difficult challenge for all brands in our sector," said Helen McFarlane, sustainability manager, McDonald’s UK and Ireland.
"If successful, this solution could provide a blueprint for others in the industry to follow."
McDonald’s conducted one-day, early-stage tests in three European cities, including Dublin, of a next model McCafé cup for hot drinks.
The two new cup prototypes are designed to remove the plastic liners still used in single-use paper cups across the quick-service restaurant sector.
The test took place during October in the Temple Bar McDonald’s restaurant in Dublin.
Plan For Change
McDonald’s noted this is part of its ambition to source 100% of primary guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified materials by the end of 2024.
This ambition is outlined in its Plan for Change, the business’s sustainability plan aiming to create positive change right across the business.
The Cup Collective
McDonald’s in Ireland has also announced a partnership with The Cup Collective, a recycling project which gives paper cups a second life, in its Ilac Shopping Centre restaurant in Dublin.
This is a move towards its goal to give the waste collected from its restaurants a second life by recycling, reusing or composting by 2027.
European Recycling Programme
The closed-loop European recycling programme, spearheaded by the Irish Paper Packaging Circularity Alliance (IPPCA), focuses on collecting used paper cups, before transforming them into premium secondary paper products including quality stationery, greetings cards and luxury packaging.
The Ilac Shopping Centre restaurant will have specially designed collection bins which will allow customers to deposit their used cups, lids and straws in one place.
The cups will then be transported to The Cup Collective’s recycling plant and reduced to a pulp which is then converted into fibres to make new paper products.