Consumers prefer Sustainable Packaging at Fast Food Restaurants

Would you be more likely to buy from a business that uses sustainable packaging? More than half of participants (55%) in a survey conducted in the US said that they’d be more likely to buy from Quick-Service Restaurants (QSR) that use recyclable packaging and utensils.

In April 2021, the site Adweek partnered with Harris Poll to create a survey to gauge consumer sentiment on proposed solutions to one small piece of humankind’s impact on the climate: littering and pollution from single-use fast food containers. 81% of US adults expressed concern about companies’ contribution to the plastic crisis, driving demand for alternative packaging solutions.

Other finds were that 55% of respondents said they’d have a better opinion of a brand that phased out polystyrene containers, and 62% said they’d have a better opinion of a brand that switched to recyclable packaging and utensils.

The fast food industry has historically leaned heavily on single-use plastics with their takeout containers and cutlery. However, during the last months, QSR like KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King have developed initiatives to limit waste from single-use food containers by introducing pilot programs for eco-friendly containers and phasing out polystyrene.

Kentucky Fried Chicken worked with Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council to certify its new packaging with paperboard that can be recycled.

In UK, McDonald’s announced a global partnership with TerraCycle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to test a new reusable cup model for hot beverages.

Burger King started try new Whopper wrappers, Frypods, cutlery, straws, lids, and napkins for its customers on Miami, FL. These items are produced with renewable unbleached virgin paperboard, 100-percent recycled fiber and other eco-friendly materials.

In the same survey, 55% of participants said compostable packaging would be a better alternative than a returnable container program. They prefer the biodegradable option because cleanliness of reusable packages (55%) and potential added cost (48%) represent concerns about participating in a reusable packaging program.

QSR need to impulse more innovative and sustainable alternatives as convenient – and cost-effective – as possible to help diners overcome their concerns. Maybe discounts could help drive adoption from the customers.

It’s essential that fast food restaurants continue with the implementation of green programs and the use of biodegradable packaging and utensils. It’s not only a topic of preference of diners or the need to comply with new laws, but it’s also a matter of ecological conscience for the benefit of our planet. We hope more brands adopt new manufacturing processes and the use of sustainable materials in their products soon. And of course, consumers also need to be more conscious about the pollution problem and contribute with ecological actions soon as possible.

Interbrands Packaging has different biodegradable solutions as food containers, plates or cup trays that can help your business to minimize the impact their packaging has on the environment. Please contact us here or check out our social media platforms if you need more information.

Phone US: + 1 281 882 8850

Phone MX: +52 81 3402 0440




Feider, M. (April 26, 2021). The Harris Poll. QSR Diners Are Seeing Green. Retrieved from

Lundstrom, K. (April 26, 2021). Adweek. Fast Food Brands Have a Lot to Gain From Reducing Single-Use Packaging Waste. Retrieved from

QSR Web. (April 28, 2021). Consumers favor reusable approach when it comes to fast food containers. Retrieved from

Business Insider. (May 14, 2021). Take a look at KFC’s new packaging, complete with instructions on reheating leftover chicken – and a makeover for Colonel Sanders. Retrieved from

Packaging Europe. (September 10, 2020). New reusable cup scheme announced by McDonald’s and Loop. Retrieved from

Pomranz, M. (May 04, 2021). Food & Wine. Burger King Tests Eco-Friendly Packaging Options. Retrieved from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *