Tim Hortons piloting container deposit program

TORONTO – Tim Hortons is partnering with TerraCycle’s zero-waste platform, Loop, to pilot a program that will give customers the option of paying a deposit and receiving reusable and returnable cups or food containers with their order.

Customers can return their reusable cups or food containers at a participating Tim Hortons and have their deposit refunded. The reusable cups and food containers are then professionally cleaned and sanitized by Loop so they can be reused again and again.

It’s anticipated that over time, the Loop platform would have a growing number of drop-off locations — both at Tim Hortons restaurants and elsewhere.

The pilot is expected to start in 2021 at select Toronto outlets.

“To really make an impact, we know we need to do something completely different. That’s why we’re really excited to be announcing this initiative. A first of its kind in Canada that focuses on reusables,” said Hope Bagozzi, chief marketing officer of Tim Hortons.

In February, Tim Hortons announced plans to give away nearly two million reusable cups as part of a 10-year commitment to change consumer perceptions and habits towards using reusable cups. That plan was paused due to the pandemic but will be relaunched when possible.

“During COVID, we have seen that consumers have relied more on single-use cups and containers due to health restrictions. This initiative by Tim Hortons signals that getting back to adopting reusable containers will be important when those restrictions are lifted,” said Tom Szaky, TerraCycle and Loop CEO.

“This partnership with Tim Hortons will allow guests to easily bring reusability into their daily lives, and whether they choose to eat-in or takeaway, they will be able to get some of their favourite food and drinks in a reusable container.”

Other initiatives

Other sustainability initiatives Tim Hortons has announced during Waste Reduction Week include:

Monday: New napkins made with 100 percent recycled fibre and using 25 percent less material. The change to the new napkins, which will be in restaurants in early 2021, is expected to save 900 tonnes of paper each year.

Tuesday: Fully recyclable paper-based wrappers for sandwiches and bagels. The new packaging, expected to be in restaurants in January, is estimated to reduce more than 460 tonnes of plastic over the next year.

Wednesday: On Nov. 4, Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada will stop the practice of double-cupping and will instead offer a recyclable cardboard sleeve for hot drinks. The move is expected to eliminate more than 200 million cups per year – or the equivalent of wrapping half the circumference of the planet with Tim Hortons cups. The new cardboard coffee sleeves are manufactured from 100 percent recycled material and are 100 percent recyclable.