Essity and McDonald’s in circular recycling partnership in Germany

Stockholm / SE. (fg) Essity and McDonald’s are closing an important loop for paper cups in Germany. In future, soft drink, milkshake and ice cream cups will be recycled for use in the manufacture of professional hygiene paper products under Essity’s leading «Tork» brand.


Hygiene and health company Essity and McDonald’s are making circular history with a recycling project that turns used paper cups into new raw materials. Since early 2020, the project, which consists of a team from Essity, logistics partner HAVI and McDonald’s Deutschland LLC, has conducted a number of tests to give used paper cups new life.

The positive tests have shown that Essity can use shredded paper cups as raw material for the production of toilet paper, under the «Tork» brand, in a number of the company’s soft paper production facilities.

«It’s exciting to work on sustainability projects like this with our customers. When we combine our recycling technology and circular services knowledge with the sustainability ambitions of McDonald’s Deutschland LLC, we enable a future business model that helps close the loop,» said Don Lewis, head of Essity’s Professional Hygiene business.

All paper cups collected from McDonald’s restaurants in Germany will be recycled, which is estimated to reduce waste by approximately 1,200 tons per year. The partnership is a win-win for both companies, reducing McDonald’s Deutschland LLC’s waste and carbon emissions while supporting Essity’s ambitions for increased circularity.

The collaboration is an evolution of the «Tork PaperCircle» recycling service, Essity’s award-winning circular service for recycling used paper towels for toilet paper production.

Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company. Sales are made in approximately 150 countries under the globally leading brands «Tena» and «Tork» as well as other strong brands. Essity counts around 46,000 employees. Net sales in 2020 were approximately SEK 122 billion (EUR 11.6 billion). The company is headquartered in Stockholm and listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. Essity breaks barriers for increased well-being and contributes to a healthy, sustainable and circular society (Photo: Essity).