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How McDonald’s is powering its trucks by recycling used cooking oil



Hardcastle Restaurants (HRPL), the master franchisee of McDonald’s in west and south India, has started to run its delivery trucks in Mumbai with biodiesel made from its own used cooking oil. The company plans to link all its 270 outlets to produce around 7 lakh tonnes of biodiesel in the next couple of years, said Vikram Ogale, director – supply chain and quality assurance.

Over the next four years, the company is looking at expanding its restaurant footprint to 450-500 and will generate around 15 lakh litres of used oil to make biodiesel to run its refrigerated delivery trucks. Sandeep Chaturvedi, president, Biodiesel Association of India, said, “The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has enforced that restaurants and food manufacturing companies cannot reuse oil with polarity value of 25 or more than that. Earlier restaurants used to sell these oil to companies who used to filter it bleach it and again resale it packed in a fresh bottle. Other companies like ITC, Parle and Balaji are all working on the same and eventually all restaurants and food manufacturers will have to join in. We are developing a software so that there are no leakages in the system and all restaurants will have to join. Further, the government is planning to launch a campaign to create awareness on the same.”

According to the company, biodiesel made from used cooking oil is a cleaner fuel with 75% lower carbon emissions than diesel over its entire life cycle. It is an eco-friendly fuel that helps limit global warming. McDonald’s started this as a pilot in 2017 and has successfully scaled it up to cover all the 85 restaurants in Mumbai. Today, the company is converting more than 35,000 litres of used cooking oil every month into biodiesel. The process of conversion begins at the restaurant where the team from the distribution centre collects used cooking oil. The collected oil is then taken to the converting facility in tankers and here, the oil is converted into bio-diesel and sent back to the distribution centre. It is then used in dedicated refrigerated trucks, the company said in a statement.

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