Restaurant Brands International Inc. | Transition to reusable packaging at Restaurant Brands International Inc.

Status
AGM passed
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
QSR
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Environment
ESG sub-theme
  • Waste and pollution
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
Canada
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the RBI Board issue a report, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, describing how the Company could reduce its plastics use in alignment with the one-third reduction findings of the Pew Report, or other authoritative sources, to reduce its contribution to ocean plastics pollution.
Whereas clause
WHEREAS: Without immediate and sustained new commitments throughout the plastics value chain, annual flows of plastics into oceans could nearly triple by 2040.[1]

The growing plastic pollution crisis poses increasing risks to Restaurant Brands International (RBI). Corporations could face an annual financial risk of approximately $100 billion should governments require them to cover the waste management costs of the packaging they produce.[2] Governments around the world are increasingly taxing corporations for single-use plastic (SUP) packaging, including new laws in Maine, Oregon, Colorado, and California.[3] The European Union has banned ten SUP products commonly found in ocean pollution and imposed a tax on non-recycled plastic packaging waste.[4]

Pew Charitable TrustsÕ groundbreaking study, Breaking the Plastic Wave, concluded that improved recycling alone is insufficient to address plastic pollution Ð instead, recycling must be coupled with reductions in use, materials redesign, and substitution.[5] At least one-third of plastic use can be reduced, and reduction is the most viable solution from environmental, economic, and social perspectives.[6]

More than one-third of RBI investors supported a 2023 shareholder proposal urging the Company to reduce its plastics use.[7] RBI has failed to meaningfully respond.

At least 60 consumer goods and retail companies have committed to reducing their overall use of plastic packaging.[8] Competitor McDonaldÕs has a goal to completely eliminate the use of virgin plastic packaging by 2025,[9] and competitor YUM! Brands has a goal to eliminate 10% of virgin plastic use across all its brands by 2025.[10] RBI has no stated goal to reduce use of virgin plastic.

Necessary in reducing virgin plastic use is the replacement of disposables with reusable packaging. In 2024, competitor McDonaldÕs will publish an assessment of opportunities for reusable packaging.[11] The report may include possible new actions and potential goal frameworks on reusables.[12] Starbucks is also actively embracing reusable packaging with new global reusable container goals, having committed that all stores and drive-throughs will facilitate reusables beginning 2024.[13] RBI has no quantifiable goal to transition from disposable packaging to reusable.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: The report should, at Board discretion:

Assess the reputational, financial, and operational risks associated with continuing to use substantial amounts of single-use plastic packaging while plastic pollution grows;

Evaluate dramatically reducing the amount of plastic used in our packaging by transitioning to reusables; and

Describe how RBI can further reduce single-use packaging, including any planned reduction strategies or goals, materials redesign, substitution, or reductions in use of virgin plastic.

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