Canadian Plastics

Berry, LyondellBasell help Wendy’s improve plastic cup recyclability

Berry will produce all-plastic cups for the restaurant chain, using recycled material supplied by LyondellBasell and other suppliers.

October 20, 2021   Canadian Plastics

Thermoformed cups. Photo Credit: Wendy’s Co.

Restaurant chain Wendy’s, which has a goal of sustainably sourcing 100 per cent of its customer-facing packaging by 2026, is collaborating with packaging manufacturer Berry Global and chemical supplier LyondellBasell to move away from plastic-lined paper cups that are difficult to recycle.

In an Oct. 20 news release, the companies said the collaboration will support its move from a selection of plastic-lined paper cups to single-substrate, clear plastic drink cups. “Based on a mass balance approach, the cups will also use 20 per cent ISCC-certified, recycled plastic across all North America restaurants – a quick-service restaurant industry first – with the potential to increase the amount of recycled plastic used in the future,” the news release said.

Further to this, Berry and LyondellBasell have entered into a long-term supply agreement for ISCC PLUS-certified, advanced recycled feedstock resins by mass balance. “Mass balance enables recycled plastic to be mixed with virgin plastic and processed in the same place, helping reduce scale-up costs and accelerate the transition to circular raw materials,” they said.

The new cup set will launch in U.S. and Canada restaurants in early 2022 with the initial set of large cups using recycled plastic, the companies said; all drink cups in U.S. and Canada will use recycled plastic in 2023. This important first step is estimated to divert 10 million pounds of waste from landfills over the first two years. Berry and LyondellBasell officials say the amount of waste diverted from landfills due to this collaboration is projected to “increase significantly” as Wendy’s works with Berry to expand recycled plastic use throughout its entire cup set.

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“There are many benefits of plastics, including convenience,” LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel said in the statement. “The issue we must address is plastic waste.”

Transitioning completely to plastic cups, the companies said, will divert an estimated 10 million pounds of waste from landfills during the first two years of change.


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