Wendy's, Berry Global, LyondellBasell Collaborate to Improve Cup Recyclability; Introduce New, Industry-Leading Clear Drink Cup

October 20, 2021
Collaboration helps divert waste from landfills, advances pathway to circularity

DUBLIN, Ohio and EVANSVILLE, Ind. and HOUSTON, Oct. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- To help advance the goal of sustainably sourcing 100% of its customer-facing packaging by 2026, Wendy's is announcing a new collaboration with packaging and plastics industry leaders Berry Global and LyondellBasell. The collaboration will support Wendy's move from a selection of plastic-lined paper cups with limited recyclability to single-substrate, clear plastic drink cups that more consumers will be able to recycle – an important pathway toward circularity. Based on a mass balance approach, the cups will also use 20% ISCC-certified, recycled plastic across all North America restaurants – a quick-service restaurant industry first – with the potential to increase the amount of recycled plastic used in the future.

The new cup set will launch in U.S. and Canada restaurants in early 2022 with the initial set of large cups using recycled plastic; all drink cups will use recycled plastic in 2023. This important first step is estimated to divert 10 million pounds of waste from landfills over the first two years. The amount of waste diverted from landfills due to this collaboration is projected to increase significantly as Wendy's works with Berry to expand recycled plastic use throughout its entire cup set. 

Collaboration Highlights

  • Aligns shared corporate plastics and packaging commitments
  • Improves recyclability, compared to Wendy's current cups, and increases the use of recycled plastic
  • Illustrates a clear vision and collaboration across the value chain
  • Uses International Sustainability and Carbon Certification's ISCC PLUS-certified recycled plastic on a mass balance basis, providing traceability, confidence and credibility
  • Recognizes the critical role advanced recycling plays in accelerating a circular economy
  • Diverts an estimated 10 million pounds of waste from landfills over the first two years

Earlier this year, Wendy's announced plans to optimize customer-facing packaging in order to accomplish its sustainable packaging goal. Today's announcement demonstrates progress toward this goal by improving drink cup recyclability and increasing the use of recycled plastic.

"Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact of single-use waste, and we want to do our part as a leader in the quick-service restaurant industry to provide more sustainable options," said Liliana Esposito, Wendy's Chief Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Officer. "Today's announcement marks Wendy's next step toward creating packaging solutions that reduce our environmental impact."

Building on its own sustainability goals, Berry has the product design and production knowledge to create circular package changes and manufacture them efficiently.

"Giving our natural resources multiple lives requires commitment and collaboration across the value chain. Partnering with leading brands that actively pursue opportunities to promote innovative packaging solutions is key to accelerating a circular economy," said Tom Salmon, Berry Global's Chairman and CEO.

To begin a transformation that meaningfully advances shared goals, Berry proposed combining the expertise and resources of Wendy's, Berry and LyondellBasell. As members of the American Chemistry Council and Alliance to End Plastic Waste, Berry and LyondellBasell teamed up to provide a more sustainable solution. LyondellBasell was integral in its supply of quality, advanced recycled resin. Berry then partnered with Wendy's to make the cup a commercial reality.

"There are many benefits of plastics, including convenience," said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell. "The issue we must address is plastic waste. As such, we are proud to collaborate with Berry Global and Wendy's to co-create sustainable solutions that will allow us to continue enjoying the benefits of this material while helping to make our environment better for future generations."

To help better serve customers' shared and increasing sustainability goals with speed, Berry and LyondellBasell have entered into a long-term supply agreement for ISCC PLUS-certified, advanced recycled feedstock resins by mass balance. Mass balance enables recycled plastic to be mixed with virgin plastic and processed in the same place, helping reduce scale-up costs and accelerate the transition to circular raw materials.

"The Alliance to End Plastic Waste aims to foster collective action through our network of partners. The initiative between LyondellBasell, Berry Global and Wendy's is a demonstration of how the entire value chain can work together to develop end-to-end solutions that address plastic waste. While more can be done to enable closed loop solutions across more states and areas, it is through industry partnerships such as this that we will ultimately achieve increased recyclability across our waste streams," said Jacob Duer, President and CEO of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.

Wendy's has been actively supporting the identification of sustainable packaging solutions, and in 2019 became a Supporting Partner of the NextGen Consortium, an industry-wide collaboration, convened by Closed Loop Partners, to accelerate and scale commercially viable, circular foodservice packaging solutions – from reuse systems to packaging recovery infrastructure. Wendy's will continue to identify and engage with additional organizations that can help the Company accomplish its goals of improving its packaging footprint.

Learn more at berryglobal.com/wendyspartnership

About Wendy's
Wendy's was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio. Dave built his business on the premise, "Quality is our Recipe®," which remains the guidepost of the Wendy's system. Wendy's is best known for its made-to-order square hamburgers, using fresh, never frozen beef*, freshly-prepared salads, and other signature items like chili, baked potatoes and the Frosty dessert. The Wendy's Company (Nasdaq: WEN) is committed to doing the right thing and making a positive difference in the lives of others. This is most visible through the Company's support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and its signature Wendy's Wonderful Kids® program, which seeks to dramatically increase the number of adoptions of children waiting in North America's foster care systems. Today, Wendy's and its franchisees employ hundreds of thousands of people across more than 6,800 restaurants worldwide with a vision of becoming the world's most thriving and beloved restaurant brand. For details on franchising, connect with us at www.wendys.com/franchising. Visit www.wendys.com and www.squaredealblog.com for more information and connect with us on Twitter and Instagram using @wendys, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wendys.

*Fresh beef available in the contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Canada.

About Berry Global
At Berry Global Group, Inc., we create innovative packaging and engineered products that we believe make life better for people and the planet. We do this every day by leveraging our unmatched global capabilities, sustainability leadership, and deep innovation expertise to serve customers of all sizes around the world. Harnessing the strength in our diversity and industry-leading talent of 47,000 global employees across more than 300 locations we partner with customers to develop, design, and manufacture innovative products with an eye toward the circular economy. The challenges we solve and the innovations we pioneer benefit our customers at every stage of their journey. For more information, visit our website, or connect with us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About LyondellBasell Industries
LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road, and ensuring the safe and effective functionality in electronics and appliances. LyondellBasell sells products into more than 100 countries and is the world's largest producer of polypropylene compounds and the largest licensor of polyolefin technologies. In 2021, LyondellBasell was named to FORTUNE Magazine's list of the "World's Most Admired Companies" for the fourth consecutive year. More information about LyondellBasell can be found at www.lyondellbasell.com.

SOURCE The Wendy's Company

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