Pity poor Tim Hortons. The dark side of being arguably the most popular coffee chain in the country means you’re also blamed for creating waste where lesser coffee chains go unscathed.
There’s no Canada-wide policy on whether or not takeout coffee cups are a recyclable item or not. That means in Prince Edward Island, where the cups can be treated like compost, the Canadian coffee icon passes the eco-friendly mark.
In Toronto, though, the cups are non-recyclable, which means Tim’s frequently comes under fire for encouraging wasteful habits. The heat gets particularly bad during Roll Up The Rim To Win time, the wildly popular but (in Toronto, anyways) not environmentally friendly cup contest.
A wise move by Timmy’s, then to partner with Turtle Island Recycling and begin a Toronto recycling program of its own. Cup recycling bins will be available at select locations across the city, with a steady expansion across Toronto planned.
“People understand that we’re not responsible for litter,” Tim’s SVP, Corporate Affairs Nick Javor told me, ” but they want us to be a part of the solution.”
Other green moves by Tim Hortons include a 10-cent coffee discount if customers bring their own mugs, and coffee grounds composting programs in select areas.
As for the Roll Up The Rim contest, Javor tells me it’s under review. If coffee cup recycling becomes commonplace across Canada, though, the earth-friendliness of the contest won’t be a question anymore.
All round, its a good move by Tim Hortons to be proactive about both the environment and their reputation.[ad]