Six McDonald’s in Northampton and Wellingborough are piloting a sustainability world-first for the burger giant.
The scheme will see medium hot drinks served in 'rented' reusable cups rather than single-use throwaways, helping customers to save more and waste less.
For just a £1 deposit, customers can choose to have their hot drink in a returnable cup — and will get a 20p thank-you discount on the price.
Once finished, customers can return cups to a collection bin ready for it to be cleaned and used again.
That will earn drinkers another 20p off their next medium hot drink order so customers will break even after five orders and still get another 20p off every time they pick a reusable cup further down the line.
The scheme, which is available inside restaurants and at drive-thrus, essentially means customers rent cups and simply return them when they can.
If a customer forgets their cup at their next visit they can pay another £1 deposit and return both cups next time.
Four Northampton restaurants at The Drapery, Weston Favell, St James’ Retail Park and Riverside Retail Park are among those chosen , The Drapery and Weston Favell Shopping Centre,
Wellingborough's London Road and Wilby Way Roundabout locations are also in.
McDonald’s franchisee Perry Akhtar said: “As a local business owner in Northampton and Wellingborough, I am thrilled that my restaurants were picked to trial this scheme.
"McDonald’s is on a journey to reduce the impact that we have on the planet, and I am proud that my restaurants have an opportunity to play a role in that.
“My restaurant teams are heavily involved in helping to clean up our local environment through daily litter patrols and larger scale litter picks.
"It is great to see McDonald’s trialling a solution that will mean less packaging is given out to our customers, I hope that this will help our efforts to keep Northampton litter free.”
Reusable cups are made from engineered polypropylene plastic as this is durable and easily cleaned, but the amount of plastic has been reduced by using recycled paper cup material in the outer insulation layer.
This not only saves material, but also gives the cups a unique look and feel. Plus when the reusable cups eventually reach their end of life usage they are recycled with the resulting material being used to make the next batch of reusable cups.
McDonald’s has saved more than 4,000 tonnes of plastic every year by removing plastic Happy Meal toys and doing away with plastic straws, McFlurry lids and salad boxes to more sustainable options.
Almost 90 per cent of its packaging comes from recycled or renewable sources and the brand is working to increase that number.