Tim Hortons launches reusable and returnable cup pilot in Vancouver with Return-It as part of mission to reduce single-use waste
Tim Hortons has announced the launch of a new pilot project in Vancouver in partnership with Return-It that will give guests the option of paying a deposit for a reusable and returnable cup so they can help the company on its mission to reduce single-use waste.
Building on a similar pilot project conducted last year in Ontario, this pilot will allow guests to pay a $4 deposit (plus tax) to borrow a reusable cup from one of 10 participating Tims restaurants
. The cup can then be returned at any one of those Tims restaurants or at one of 11 Return-It stations located across Vancouver, including in transit locations and other public spaces.
Return-It will take on the role of collecting, washing, sanitizing and returning the cups to Tim Hortons so guests can use them again. Once the pilot wraps up, results will be analyzed to help evaluate a scalable solution for a reusable cup program that is convenient and helps us work with guests to reduce single-use waste.
11 Return-It stations are located across Vancouver, including in transit locations and other public spaces.
"We're excited to partner with Return-It on this pilot program as we work towards making all of our guest packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable," said Paul Yang, Senior Director of Innovation and Sustainability at Tim Hortons.
"Tim Hortons has been testing a number of ways to scale reusable and returnable packaging systems, as well as increase the recyclability of single-use cups.
Through this program with industry partners and the City of Vancouver, we hope to learn and develop innovative solutions for the future."
Return-It is an industry owned, not-for-profit, product stewardship agency with beverage container management as its core business. Its mandate is to develop, manage and improve systems to recover used beverage packaging and end-of-life products from consumers to ensure they are properly recycled and diverted from the natural environment. This work includes the development and implementation of initiatives that provide new solutions to reduce waste. Return-It is also a founding member of the Canada Plastics Pact and has made a global commitment through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to help eliminate plastic pollution at the source. In 2021, Return-It broadened its commitment to sustainability by announcing its social purpose, which is aimed at creating a better future for people, communities and the planet: We exist to foster a world where nothing is waste.
In addition to the new reusable cup program, Tim Hortons is also partnering with Return-It on a pilot to encourage more recycling of paper and plastic single-use cups.
Tim Hortons coffee and cold beverage cups can already be recycled in British Columbia and are accepted through municipal curbside recycling programs. The pilot project with Return-It will give Vancouver residents more options to recycle single-use cups
as they can be dropped off at
same Return-It stations
where Tim Hortons reusable and returnable cups are being collected, as well as at participating Tims restaurants.
The pilot will help evaluate the viability of a broader, permanent program that would allow single-use cups to be collected for recycling at a number of public drop-off points.
About Tim Hortons
In 1964, the first Tim Hortons restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario opened its doors. Tim Hortons is Canada's largest restaurant chain operating in the quick service industry with nearly 4,000 restaurants across the country. Tim Hortons has more than 5,100 restaurants in Canada, the United States and around the world.