Tim Hortons to experiment with reusable and returnable food and drink containers

Test program will begin in Toronto in 2021

Tim Hortons is going to test drive a program that will give guests the option of paying a deposit and receiving their order in reusable and returnable containers.

Customers would pay a deposit on the containers, getting that money back when they return them to be cleaned and reused.

It’s hoped the move will help reduce single-use waste.

“To really make an impact, we know we need to do something completely different. And as Canada’s quick service restaurant leader, we also know it’s our responsibility to be bold in that change. That’s why we’re really excited to be announcing this industry-leading initiative. A first of its kind in Canada that focuses on reusables,” said Hope Bagozzi, Chief Marketing Officer of Tim Hortons.

The test program, in partnership with TerraCycle’s zero-waste platform, Loop, will begin in Toronto in 2021. The reusable cups and food containers would be 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 — that would make the program even more convenient for guests to participate in.

Tim Hortons has also announced this week it will stop the practice of double-cupping and will instead offer guests a recyclable cardboard sleeve for their hot drinks. It will also introduce new paper-based wrappers for sandwiches and bagels.