The new polypropylene cup will be tested in selected Taco Bell US restaurants later this year with an aim to divert waste from landfill and improve the carbon footprint


Taco Bell headquarters at the Irvine Spectrum in Irvine, California. (Credit: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia)

Packaging firm Berry Global Group has launched a new clear, all-plastic cup containing mechanically recycled post-consumer resin (PCR) in partnership with US-based fast-food restaurant chain Taco Bell.

Developed for a more circular approach to sustainable packaging, the clear polypropylene (PP) cup will be tested in selected Taco Bell US restaurants later this year, with 30-ounce cups using 10% recycled, high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

Berry Global said that it has incorporated food-grade content from products such as recycled milk jugs in the recycled HDPE.

After experimenting with a variety of recycled content choices, the availability of HDPE, together with good lifecycle assessment (LCA) results, led the packaging firm to the clear cup solution, Berry said.

The conversion of Taco Bell’s virgin plastic cup and lid set will help divert waste from landfill and incineration and to improve the carbon footprint.

The new product aligns with the publicly stated sustainability commitments of both firms: Taco Bell’s 2022 Commitments and Berry’s Impact 2025.

Berry Global chairman and CEO Tom Salmon said: “For years, we have collaborated with Taco Bell to make integral steps toward a more sustainable cup solution—one that is lighter weight and proves the economic value and demand for recycled material, without compromising the product’s recyclability.

“The environmental benefits we anticipate from this pilot are made possible through one of the most innovative substrates available.

“I’m proud of our joint commitments to advance the plastics industry and quick-serve restaurant market with leading solutions that others can replicate to advance the transition to a circular, net-zero economy.”

Taco Bell global nutrition & sustainability director Missy Schaaphok said: “By testing this new cup, Taco Bell is taking another positive step forward in identifying the most viable ways to meet our consumer-facing packaging commitments.

“We’re excited for this collaboration with Berry Global as we continue working towards creating industry-wide packaging solutions.”