Partnership reduces McDonald’s packaging waste

General Manager at Huhtamaki Lurgan, Philip Woolsey alongside McDonald’s franchisee, Des Lamph and Director of Delta Packaging Ltd, Neal McCone
Two Northern Irish companies that supply paper-based products to McDonald’s have partnered in a bid to reuse and recycle off-cuts from the production process to reduce the chain’s ‘waste kilometres’ (km) by up to 20,000 each year.

Belfast-based Delta Packaging Ltd, which creates packaging including burger ‘clamshells’, wrap cartons and fry cartons for McDonald’s stores in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands, will now transport the waste trimmings from its manufacture of McDonald’s carton packaging to Huhtamaki (Lurgan) Ltd, the supplier of the restaurant chain’s cup carriers for the UK and Ireland market, which is based 30km away.

Huhtamaki, situated in Craigavon, will then process the McDonald’s carton byproducts into a useable format that can be remanufactured into biodegradable moulded fibre products. The packaging company employs over 200 people across its two sites in Lurgan and Lisburn and specialises in the production of moulded fibre products supplied to companies in the food retail industry, including Noble Foods and Asda.

Partnership aims to close the loop on McDonalds packaging waste

Philip Woolsey, General Manager of Huhtamaki Lurgan, said: “Our partnership with Delta Packaging has allowed us to provide McDonald’s with a ‘closed-loop’ solution for a more traceable, environmentally and financially efficient method of transporting and recycling waste.

“As a result, the cup holders we supply to McDonald’s are made from 100 per cent locally-sourced recycled material and we look forward to developing our relationship with Delta further.

“We understand the importance of contributing to a circular economy and have configured a number of bespoke machines in order to accommodate the growing demands of customers who increasingly want to produce a high-quality product that is both economically and environmentally viable.”

Neal McCone, Director of Delta Packaging Ltd, said: “All of the raw material used in our McDonald’s packaging is responsibly sourced by using fully certified PEFC recycled board, water-based inks and fully compostable grease barriers. Our agreement with Huhtamaki provides an environmentally-friendly solution for our McDonald’s waste – our off-cuts are put through Huhtamaki’s pulping process to create moulded fibre products. It’s a win-win situation for all concerned.

“This is a great example of two Northern Irish packaging companies coming together for the greener good of both the local environment and McDonald’s.”