Tim Hortons eliminating single-use plastics

TORONTO – Tim Hortons aims to eliminate one billion single-use plastics this year and they are in the final phase of introducing paper straws to its thousands of Tim Hortons restaurants across Canada.

Eliminating the use of plastic straws is expected to eliminate the use of 300 million single-use plastics a year.

The transition to paper straws began last year and all restaurants stopped receiving shipments of plastic straws as of January. More than 85 per cent of its approximately 4,000 restaurants have already converted to paper straws and it’s expected that all Tim Hortons restaurants will be offering guests paper straws by the end of May.

“We’re committed to improving our sustainability practices every way we can, and today on Earth Day, we’re proud to share that we’re eliminating one billion single-use plastics this year, including by phasing out plastic straws,” says Paul Yang, Director of Sustainability and Packaging for Tim Hortons.

Tim Horton’s napkins are now made with 100 per cent recycled fibre, require 25 per cent less material to produce, and will help save 900 tonnes of paper a year.

They are also making improvements to more than three billion units of packaging this year.

“When it’s safe to do so, we’ll also return to encouraging guests to use reusable cups so we can together reduce the need for single-use cups,” says Yang. “In the meantime, we’re working on testing different paper cups made with 30 per cent recycled materials and a cup with a compostable liner, and we’re also really excited about our upcoming Loop pilot project to test a returnable cup system.”

Earlier this year Tim Horton’s also introduced paper-based wrappers for sandwiches and bagels that are fully recyclable, while also cutting the use of paper by 17 per cent annually. The new packaging is estimated to reduce more than 460 tonnes of plastic a year. 

Tim Hortons has also developed new restaurant design standards for future renovations and new builds that aim to reduce energy consumption, water use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste. Some of their green building initiatives include the use of recycling and composting programs, increased air ventilation, an electrical energy management system, low-flow automatic faucets and flush valves, and high-efficiency hand dryers.