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Tim Hortons unveils new lids, testing more environmentally friendly cups

Tim Hortons is introducing a 100 per cent recyclable lid and testing a more environmentally friendly paper cup as the company tries to reduce its environmental footprint.

The coffee chain announced Monday that, after more than two years of development, its coffee cups will feature a new lid designed to reduce spills as well as the company’s carbon footprint. The new lid, which was testing through 12 research studies, features a raised dome, tabbed closure and an embossed maple leaf. It is also made from polypropylene, which is a 100 per cent recyclable material.

“Our guests have been asking for a better lid for years and we took the time to research and develop an improved lid that not just reduces spills but has a reduced carbon footprint,” Tim Hortons president Alex Macedo said in a statement.

“Guest feedback on our new lid is overwhelmingly positive with a nine-to-one preference over our old lid.”

Tim Hortons, which is owned by parent company Restaurant Brands International, is also testing several initiatives aimed at reducing its environmental impact, such as an improved paper cup and strawless lids for its ice coffee. It will also be introducing wooden stir sticks across the chain, as well as a reusable cup that will be available for purchase for $1.99.

The moves are part of the company’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint at a time of increased focus on environmental sustainability. Part of that effort includes investing more money towards encouraging consumers to use reusable cups, said Tim Hortons chief operating officer Mike Hancock.

“This summer we’re testing more recyclable single-use cups. But ultimately our goal is to transfer folks over to reusable cups,” Hancock said in an interview with Yahoo Finance Canada.

“We’re going to put a lot of money behind, a lot of investment behind shifting that consumer behaviour, but in the short terms we need to have other options.”

Hancock offered limited details on what exactly that investment will look like, but he said it will include point-of-purchase displays in stores to let customers know about the company’s reusable cups and the impact of using single-use cups.

Tim Hortons had faced some backlash over its environmental impact earlier this year during its iconic Roll Up the Rim to Win contest, after three young Canadians launched a petition asking the company to invest in compostable or recyclable paper cups.

Hancock said the changes are not a response to the backlash, but that the company welcomes and appreciates the feedback from its guests.

Tim Hortons announced in late April that it would be revamping its iconic Roll Up the Rim program after the coffee chain reported weak sales in the first quarter of the year.

“You’re going to see a lot more out of us as we talk about sustainability over the next coming months and years,” Hancock said.

“This is a top priority for everyone here.”

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