A&W

A&W launches Canada’s first lidless, fully compostable coffee cup

A&W Canada has launched what it describes as Canada’s first lidless, fully compostable coffee cup.

The company said it is proud to be the first major quick-service restaurant brand to pilot a new, “truly innovative sustainable cup design” starting March 14 in participating restaurants across Toronto.

Each year, a release notes, an estimated five billion single-use cups end up in Canadian landfills. A&W’s “strange-looking” Zero Cup is designed as a solution to that problem. It requires no lid or straw, contains no plastic liner, and is fully compostable and recyclable.

The cup, a design innovation from UK-based ButterflyCup, is made entirely of paper, with a unique, water-based coating that prevents leaks.

“Each year, A&W Canada serves millions of takeout drinks, so finding a more sustainable single-use cup solution is one way we can make a big difference,” says Susan Senecal, President & CEO of A&W Canada. “Our new Zero Cup is an exciting step in our journey to reach zero waste.  Part of achieving that mission is pioneering the innovations that people need to live more sustainable lives. This new cup is one small way Canadians can take small, simple actions, one day at a time.”

A&W says that mass adoption of a compostable coffee cup would help to substantially reduce the number of disposable coffee cups that end up in landfills avoiding the use of plastic liners that can’t be recycled in most Canadian municipalities.

The Zero Cup is the latest initiative in what A&W calls a long-time commitment to innovation in sustainability.

In 2016, A&W became the first restaurant chain to join Canada’s Zero Waste Council; three years later, it was the first QSR to introduce the Beyond Meat burger, and also in 2019 it became the first QSR in North America to eliminate single-use plastic straws.

Image: A&W

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