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Burger King trials Finnish reusable bioplastic cups

The eco cups can be washed up to 200 times and then recycled.

Sulapac

Burger King has introduced Sulapac’s reusable bioplastic cups in two restaurants in Finland to reduce waste and CO2 emissions.

The pilot is run by Restel, a Finnish restaurant and catering company that operates Burger King in Finland. The cups, developed by Helsinki-based material innovation company Sulapac, are also trialled in selected Rax pizza restaurants. The project aims to reduce waste and CO2 emissions while avoiding harmful microplastic pollution. 

“By collaborating with Sulapac we can mitigate the negative climate and environmental impacts related to single-use and oil-based plastic while advancing the circular bioeconomy,” said Anna Koskinen, sustainability and communications manager at Restel.

The Sulapac material used in the cup is 100 per cent bio-based and was developed specifically for reusable tableware. According to Heidi Peltola, head of product at Sulapac, the material is efficiently recyclable and suitable for industrial composting. 

“The compostability certificate validates the environmental friendliness of the material, including tests for potential ecotoxic effects and heavy metals,” Peltola explained. “All our materials can be digested by naturally occurring microbes, so they do not accumulate in the food chain, unlike conventional plastic.”

Suvi Haimi, co-founder and CEO of Sulapac, developed a sustainable plastic alternative alongside Laura Tirkkonen-Rajasalo.

Sulapac

Significant investment

The eco cups will be used in the pilot restaurants for two months. Customers receive a cup at the cashier and return it to a designated collection tray after use. Each cup can be washed up to 200 times. At the end of its lifecycle, Sulapac manages the recycling process and ensures the discarded cup is turned into new drinking cups.

Sulapac, founded in 2016 by three scientists, is one of the many Finnish companies working towards a plastic-free future using nature-inspired materials. The sector has also garnered significant interest from investors. For instance, Espoo-based Paptic secured 23 million euros in funding in 2023 to boost its plastic alternatives’ manufacturing and global availability.

By: Eeva Haaramo
14.06.2024