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July 22, 2020

Turning used cooking oil into fuel

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McDonald’s Story LabUK, Switzerland and the Netherlands
Infographic depicts circular cycle of our French Fry cooking oil recycled into renewable fuel for trucks delivering supplies back to the restaurant.

One big circle: In the Netherlands, renewable diesel provider Neste recycles used cooking oil from our French Fries into fuel. Supply chain partner HAVI uses that fuel to truck products back to McDonald’s restaurants.

Recycling our used cooking oil is common practice across many of our markets, however in the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands we are working to close the loop and create a circular solution for cooking oil.

We’re bringing circular solutions to life.

At McDonald’s we want to use our global scale to help accelerate a circular economy, which is a key driver for our packaging and recycling strategy. However, we know that true circularity stretches far beyond just our packaging. We are focused on closing the loop by using more recycled materials in our packaging, restaurants, and facilities – and that includes the cooking oil that we use.

In the Netherlands we have joined forces with our key supply chain partner, HAVI, and Neste, the world’s leading provider of renewable diesel, to recycle used cooking oil from our French Fries into Neste MY Renewable Diesel™. In the true spirit of circularity this renewable fuel will then be used in HAVI trucks which will deliver products back to McDonald’s restaurants. This project will enable us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions within logistics by up to 90%* over the fuel’s life cycle compared to fossil diesel, and promote cleaner transport.

Close up of customer in jean jacket with McDonald’s French Fries

Recycling used cooking oil is just one part of our broader strategy to reduce waste.

We are running a similar initiative in the UK, converting our used cooking oil into biodiesel through Olleco, a renewable fuel provider. This goes to our transport provider, Martin Brower, to fuel delivery trucks which backhaul food waste from our kitchens. And it doesn’t stop there. This food waste is converted by Olleco into gas and electricity, some of which is supplied to the neighboring Arla dairy, which suppliers all of our organic milk in the UK, delivered by the biodiesel fueled trucks. The circle continues.

We’re constantly looking for new ways to drive a circular economy and, as part of packaging and recycling strategy, are focused on finding a wide range of initiatives to reduce our use of packaging, switch to more sustainable materials and help our customers to recycle.

*) The method used to calculate life cycle emissions and emission reduction complies with the EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC).

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