Arcos Dorados in Brazil Is Serving up a New Sustainable Food Tray in its McDonald’s Restaurants
Arcos Dorados Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ARCO) (“Arcos Dorados” or the “Company”), Latin America’s largest restaurant chain and the world’s largest independent McDonald's franchisee, today announced that it will substitute the plastic trays currently used by its guests with trays made from more sustainable materials, further advancing its commitment to positively impact the environment.
Since implementing its plastics reduction program in 2018, over 1.300 tons of single-use plastic have been removed from Arcos Dorados’ operation. The Company plans to continue on this path, minimizing the use of virgin materials throughout its logistics, supply chain and restaurant operations to measurably offset its carbon footprint.
The new trays represent the first step in the partnership between Arcos Dorados and UBQ Materials Ltd. (“UBQ”), an Israeli company that has patented a technology, which converts household waste into a climate positive, biobased, thermoplastic. Not to be confused with standard recycling that requires highly developed sorting, UBQ’s technology receives waste destined for landfills that includes all manner of materials, including food leftovers, paper, cardboard and mixed plastics. This mixed material is converted into a single, composite, thermoplastic material compatible with industry machinery and manufacturing standards.
In the first phase of the partnership, 7,200 serving trays made with UBQ™ will be introduced in 30 McDonald's restaurants in 20 Brazilian state capitals, replacing old plastic trays. The initiative will be gradually extended to all McDonald’s restaurants throughout the country, with 11,000 additional trays already in production. Aside from the UBQ logo, McDonald’s guests will see and feel no difference in the iconic serving tray as the impact of this collaboration is in the invaluable offset of carbon emissions. Using UBQ in the production of the new trays has already diverted over 1,200 kg of waste from being sent to landfills.
By converting waste and giving it new life as a raw material in manufacturing, UBQ™ prevents the pollution and harmful greenhouse gas emissions related to landfill decomposition. Every ton of UBQ™ produced prevents nearly 12 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from being released into the environment. According to Quantis, a global leader of environmental impact assessments, this metric qualifies UBQ™ as the most climate positive thermoplastic on the market. The production of the first 18,000 trays represents an estimated reduction of 3,713 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent.
“As a company, we are fully committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operation as part of our Recipe for the Future ESG platform. The partnership with UBQ™ is yet another step toward introducing increasingly innovative solutions to improve the world around us, and we are proud to take this next step, supporting a technology that will transform the way society recycles its organic waste,” stated Gabriel Serber, Director of Social Impact and Sustainable Development at Arcos Dorados.
The new trays are produced by the Brazilian company Semaza Comércio de Plástico Ltda., in its plant in Santana de Parnaíba, in the Greater São Paulo region. The introduction of trays made with UBQ™ will be gradually extended to additional restaurants in the Company’s footprint, and the old plastic trays will be re-used in other circular economy projects promoted by Arcos Dorados.
“UBQ™ has the potential to revolutionize the way we view waste, transforming it from a liability into a valuable resource for manufacturing. The market at large is demanding sustainable solutions and the quick service restaurant industry is no exception. UBQ™ enables manufacturers to create products that positively impact our world, without compromising on profitability - the solution is as simple as implementation,” said Albert Douer, Executive Chairman of UBQ Materials.
Commitment to Sustainable Development
The introduction of trays produced from UBQ™ material complements a series of Arcos Dorados initiatives focused on the reduction and conscientious use of plastic, including substituting the packaging of some products and suspending the proactive distribution of straws in its restaurants, which has already avoided the consumption of around 200 tons of single-use plastic in one year. To learn more about Arcos Dorados’ initiatives and socio-environmental commitments, access the website www.recetadelfuturo.com.
In addition to its regional initiatives, the Company is committed to achieving McDonald’s Corporation’s global targets of a 36% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its restaurants and corporate offices by 2030 and a 31% reduction throughout its supply chain in the same period. This means the elimination of a total of 11 million tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to planting 3 billion trees or removing 25 million cars from circulation.
About Arcos Dorados
Arcos Dorados is the world’s largest independent McDonald’s franchisee, operating the largest quick service restaurant chain in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has the exclusive right to own, operate and grant franchises of McDonald’s restaurants in 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries and territories with more than 2,200 restaurants, operated by the Company or by its sub-franchisees, that together employ over 100 thousand people (as of 09/30/2020). The Company is also committed to the development of the communities in which it operates, to providing young people their first formal job opportunities and to utilize its Scale for Good to achieve a positive environmental impact. Arcos Dorados is listed for trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ARCO). For further information about the company please access our website: www.arcosdorados.com
UBQ Materials Ltd. is a cleantech company that has developed an advanced conversion technology, patenting the world's first bio-based material (UBQ™) made entirely of unsorted household waste; a revolutionary way to divert municipal solid waste from landfills and transform it into a sustainable substitute for oil-based plastics. With a climate positive impact and a cost-competitive price, UBQ™ empowers manufacturers with a simple transition to greater sustainability.
A certified B Corp, UBQ is part of a global collective using business as a force for good. Learn more by visiting www.ubqmaterials.com.
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