The best way to reduce plastic is to minimize the use of packaging material. Indeed, over the years Hesburger has reduced and thinned out the use of packaging materials in several ways. For example, polystyrene containers were eliminated in the 1990s and Hesburger restaurants have never used plastic bags. Hamburger wrappers, French fry bags and tray liners are all biodegradable and the carton boxes are manufactured from Finnish plastic-free paperboard.
No more plastic straws
In 2019, Hesburger eliminated the use of plastic straws entirely from its Finnish operations. The restaurants in Finland made the transfer to paper straws in the summer of 2019, sparking a great deal of interest. Many of our customers have been pleased with the decision and the reduced use of plastic. The restaurants in the Baltic countries and Bulgaria are taking similar measures during 2020.
Hesburger has been reducing the use of straws and lids for years: a straw and lid is only provided for soft drinks and other cold beverages upon request. Straws are always provided for children or takeaway orders as well as for milkshakes, Smoothies and Fruities. Straws have been entirely removed from the condiment stations in dining areas, reducing the consumption of plastic straws in Finland by seven million straws a year.
Existing plastic is re-used
It takes hundreds of years for plastic to decompose. This is why it is so important that existing plastics be re-used sensibly and practically.
Hesburger uniforms are made from fabrics that contain recyclable plastic bottles. It takes 18 recyclable bottles to make a single collared shirt and 20 to make a belt. When a uniform reaches the end of its useful life, it is recycled. Worn-out uniforms are made into outdoor table sets for Hesburger restaurants. The table sets can last up to 50 years and, when that time comes, the material can be recycled once again for re-use.
Hesburger also recycles the clear plastic wrap used in production and deliveries.