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McDonald’s franchisee incorporates eco-material in seating, electrical boxes

Arcos Dorados is McDonald’s largest independent restaurant franchisee.
Arcos Dorados is McDonald’s largest independent restaurant franchisee.

McDonald’s largest independent restaurant franchisee is advancing its sustainabililty efforts with the use of an innovative material.  

Arcos Dorados, which operates more than 2,300 McDonald’s restaurants in 20 countries across Latin America and the Carribean, is expanding its collaboration with UBQ Materials Ltd., a developer of advanced, climate-positive materials made from waste.  (The company has created what it describes as the world’s first bio-based thermoplastic, a sustainable plastic supplement called UBQ that is made entirely from residual waste.)

Arcos Dorados has become the first UBQ Materials partner to implement building components made with UBQ.  The material  is being used in bench seating and electrical casing components, both of which have implemented in McDonald’s “sustainable showcase” restaurant  in São Paulo, Brazil. 

To create the new reduced-emissions electrical conduits and connection boxes, UBQ Materials collaborated with Tigre, the largest pipe manufacturer in Latin America, to develop an eco-conscious solution utilizing UBQ that maintained all the functional performance required for the electrical system.

Similarly, UBQ Materials worked with Brazilian manufacturer Madeplast to incorporate UBQ into modular wood boards in the bench (seating) structures of the restaurant —  the first time UBQ has been incorporated into wooden building components. 

The São Paulo restaurant also features educational and informative materials, giving customers insight into Arcos Dorados’ various decarbonization efforts. The company said it hopes the information will encourage its customers to adopt more environmentally-conscious lifestyle choices and optimal waste management practices. 

In 2021, Arcos Dorados and UBQ Materials developed a sustainable serving tray that has since been rolled out in McDonald’s restaurants across Brazil and the Caribbean.

"When Arcos Dorados began the cooperation with UBQ Materials, we challenged the team to find applications to use UBQ throughout our McDonald’s branches and supply chain,” said Marie Tarrisse, head of social impact and sustainability at the Brazil Division of Arcos Dorados.  “Our collaboration has been an important part of our approach to building sustainable operations and is setting a new standard for environmental responsibility in the restaurant sector.”

With a targeted emphasis on circular economy, Arcos Dorados is replacing resource-intensive materials and lowering carbon emissions towards fulfilling its global sustainability goals, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 36% in restaurants and offices and by 31% throughout the supply chain by 2030.


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