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McDonald's Is Testing Reusable Cups

McDonald's is testing reusable cups! Here's everything we know so far—plus 5 other companies that are making eco moves this month.

Written by
Briana Dodson

Every month, we anticipate which companies will be in the news for their sustainability efforts, and every month we wind up with something to celebrate. Because when a big company makes a move that has the planet in mind, there are always others that follow in their footsteps.

Lots of food and beauty companies are leading the way with sustainable products (and processes!) this month. From McDonald's reusable cups to Beyond Meat expanding into areas beyond plant-based chicken and beef, here are the headlines you won't want to miss out on.

6 Companies Making Eco-Friendly Changes

1. McDonald's

McDonald's probably isn't the first company name you'd expect to see on a list of sustainability news, but we're lovin' its latest endeavor. In an effort to reduce waste, the fast food giant has partnered with Loop, a global reuse platform that replaces single-use packaging with durable designs, to launch a trial program in the United Kingdom.

"We're on a journey to rethink how we package products to give customers options that reduce waste," said Jenny McColloch, McDonald's vice president of global sustainability, in a press release. "We're excited to assess how new reusable packaging models could work within our system as we accelerate circular packaging solutions with our partners around the globe."

In exchange for a £1 deposit, customers will be able to order their favorite hot drinks in McDonald's reusable cups. Once finished, they can return McDonald's reusable cups to one of the branded Loop collection bins situated in stores. Once they reach end-of-life, Loop will then recycle them into new cups.

While this initiative is starting in the UK, let's hope it makes its way to the United States soon.

2. OPI


Leading beauty brand, OPI, is making an earthy-toned splash with the introduction of its first-ever vegan nail polish line. Inspired by nature, the "Nature Strong" line is certified vegan by The Vegan Society. It's also cruelty-free.

The line features 30 seriously pigmented shades and is made from plant-based ingredients like sugarcane (which Walmart just used to create sustainable bras!), wheat, potatoes, and corn. As for its packaging, it's made from 20% post-consumer recycled materials.

3. Beyond Meat

Earlier this year, Beyond Meat expanded its plant-based product line to include vegan chicken tenders, teaming up with more than 400 restaurants to debut the new product. But that was only the beginning.

On August 12th, the company trademarked the name "Beyond Milk" for its upcoming line of dairy-free milk. Along with that, it filed for more than 100 other trademarks, including Beyond Crab, Beyond Shrimp, Beyond Tuna, and Beyond Eggs. Plant-based eaters rejoice!

4. Allbirds

According to NPD, activewear accounted for a whopping 40% of all online sales last year. That may be good for working out or lounging at home, but it's certainly less ideal for the planet. A lot of athletic clothing is made of synthetic, plastic-based materials (including lycra) and oil, which is contributing largely to climate change.

Allbirds is combating those effects with the launch of its own eco-friendly activewear for men and women featuring leggings, biking and running shorts, tees, and more. The fiber blends are made from 75% plant-based or recycled materials. Allbirds also calculates the carbon footprint of each product and showcases it on each label.

5. The Body Shop

The Body Shop is yet another company out to fight the plastic crisis with the introduction of its national refill program. It's launching 400 refill stations globally in 2021, and has made it a goal to launch another 400 in 2022. This is step one in a five-year plan to roll out refill stations to a majority of its stores globally.

Right now, the site's Refill Store Locator shows a handful of stations in California, Florida, New York, Oregon, and Washington. According to the press release, it could help The Body Shop and its customers "save over 25 tons of plastic per year." Customers are able to choose from a selection of the brand's most popular hand washes, shower gels, shampoos, and conditioners.

6. Chobani

Chobani has been making a lot of sustainable moves lately, from filing for an IPO to launching its first-ever Fair Trade Certified yogurts. This time it's making its vegan oat yogurt even more sustainable by replacing the plastic packaging it currently comes in with paper.

The new cups are made of 80% paperboard and replace most of the plastic packaging, with the exception of a thin plastic lining (used for preservation). If you're a yogurt fan, it's a product you can feel a lot better about stocking your fridge with.

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