Five Burger King outlets in northern New Jersey offer customers the chance to purchase their food and drinks in reusable containers through a first-of-its-kind partnership with Loop, a reusable packaging program by Trenton-based TerraCycle in partnership with a coalition of manufacturers and retailers.
After finishing their meals, customers can return the reusable container to the Loop Return Point at the store to be cleaned and reused. Customers will be charged a $2 deposit upon purchase on each item, and will receive a refund once their package is returned.
Participating Burger Kings include 1088 Broadway, Bayonne; 118 Central Ave., Clark; 1022 East Route 18, East Brunswick; 751 Harrison Ave.; Harrison; and 1822 Springfield Ave., Maplewood.
Loop SVP Marketing and Platforms Heather Crawford said consumer buy-in to the pilot program, which launched in January and will go on for at least six months, has been high. “Consumer response in the early days has been really strong. We’ve heard from consumers that they prefer the design and functionality of the reusable containers to the disposable ones,” Crawford said.
The Burger King partnership is part of a larger macro-series of launches in the next few months, including upcoming programs with Walgreens and other big box retailers. Loop recently launched in 25 Fred Meyer stores, a Kroger grocery banner, in Portland, Ore.; and before that launched internationally in France and the U.K., among others.
While Loop isn’t calculating the environmental impact of the five North Jersey stores, it’s working with Burger King on projections of what the program would look like at scale. Predictions are based on the consumer response so far.
“One of the educational barriers we need to get passed is what does it mean to borrow a cup instead of bring your own reusable … Educating consumers has been an educational task for the marketing team and the teams crafting the marketing,” Crawford said.
Consumers in states with bottle deposits — five or 10 cents on glass and plastic bottles — are more familiar with the concept than those without bottle deposits, Loop has found.
“Loop is the next siege in the evolution of how we manage the water crisis. One of the ways is the product never becomes waste at all – it instead can be reused,” Crawford said.