Fast food chain, Burgerville, recently announced it is switching to commercially compostable cups and lids as part of its goal to divert 85 percent of the company’s waste stream from landfills. Burgerville is the first fast food chain to use compostable paper cups company-wide.
The compostable “ecotainer” soda cups and lids, developed by International Paper in cooperation with Coca-Cola, are made from fiber from sustainably-managed forests that meet the Sustainable Forestry Institute (SFI) guidelines. A corn-based coating, NatureWorks Ingeo, is used in the cups and lids to create a water-resistant barrier. And ecotainer products require less energy to produce than traditional paper cups.
Burgerville has also teamed with the Portland Roasting Company in an effort to bring Farm Friendly Direct coffee to all its customers. Proceeds from coffee sales help improve the lives of coffee farmers and their communities though the building of community centers, schools and water treatment centers.
The award-winning company has received several accolades over the year including the Recycler of the Year Award by the Washington State Recycling Association and the 2006 Green Power Leadership Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy for its corporate-wide purchase of wind power. The company also received the Food Network Award Best Better Burger for its great tasting burgers and commitment to sustainable practices. With 39 locations in Washington and Oregon, the restaurant chain is committed to using locally grown ingredients, vegetarian-fed, antibiotic-free beef and cage-free eggs.
The company, established in 1961, began its recycling and composting initiative in 2007. Nearly all of the company’s packaging is made from plant-based or renewable resources that can be recycled or composted. Today, plastic and foil condiment packets are the only non-compostable or non-recyclable packaging Burgerville uses. As a “work in progress,” the company is asking for feedback from employees and customers about the recycling and composting program.