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Tim Hortons to test plastic-free hot drink lids at select Ottawa locations


Tim Hortons restaurants in Ottawa and Gatineau will begin testing plastic free, fibre hot beverage lids, the company announced on Monday.

The coffee giant says the project will last for up to six weeks as part of a broader effort to reduce single-use plastics. The company says it's part of a move toward a "guest-friendly" alternative to plastic lids that are easier to compost or recycle while accounting for a better drinking experience.

"We're excited to ask Ottawans to help us test this new, plastic-free and recyclable lid for Tim Hortons hot beverage cups. We're known for serving Canada's favourite coffee, so it's important that we develop a best-in-class solution for our guests," said Paul Yang, the senior director of procurement, sustainability and packaging for Tim Hortons, in a statement.

"We've worked hard on developing a fibre lid that feels like our current lids but is plastic-free. These fibre lids are part of our five-year journey to develop more innovative solutions for all our packaging and we're excited to have our guests in Ottawa join us in this test."

The company says the test is using an "improved" version of a similar fibre lid that was trialed in select Tim Hortons restaurants across Vancouver in early 2023. The move helped reduce the use of more than 3.3 million plastic lids, the coffee chain said.

A similar test was conducted in Prince Edward Island earlier this year and stirred up controversy, after customers complained they could taste the plastic lids, with some saying they "tasted a little bit like cardboard."

Tim Hortons said in February that they would take the feedback and refine the design.

It's not the first time the chain has changed its lids - The chain got rid of its traditional brown lids that had been a staple of its drinks for over 20 years in 2019.

The company has also introduced wooden and fibre cutlery in its stores as part of a wider plan to help reduce the use of single-use plastics.

The new lids are expected to be seen at the following Ottawa locations starting this week:

  • 50 Rideau Street Ottawa
  • 161 Laurier Ave Ottawa
  • 187 Bank Street Ottawa
  • 800 King Edward Ottawa
  • 330 Queen St Ottawa
  • 263 Bank Street Ottawa
  • 275 Slater St Ottawa
  • 200, Promenade Du Portage Gatineau
  • 99-99 Rideau Street Ottawa
  • 100 Metcalfe Street Ottawa
  • 200 Sparks Street Ottawa
  • 90 Elgin Street Ottawa
  • 525 Somerset Street West Ottawa
  • 171 Slater Street Ottawa
  • 423 Cumberland St Ottawa
  • 145 Jean-Jacques-Lussier Private Ottawa
  • 1000 Airport Parkway Private Ottawa
  • Ottawa International Airport Ottawa
  • 800 King Edward Ave Ottawa

With files from CTV News Atlantic
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