For good or ill, Tim Hortons' three-decades-old, wildly successful "Roll Up the Rim to Win" contest has become an entrenched part of Canada's cultural landscape. The premise is familiar even to those who have never set foot in one of the coffee and doughnut juggernaut's 4,590 outlets. Every February, Tim Hortons distributes over 31 million prizes (from cars to store products) to lucky customers who unroll the rims on paper double-doubles and the like. Roll Up the Rim to Win is so iconic it inspired one Ottawa-area inventor to pitch a "Rim Roller" device on CBC's Draogns' Den.
Not everyone is happy with Roll Up the Rim to Win, however. A Change.org petition wants Tim Hortons to open up the annual contest to reusable mug users.
The goal of the petition, ostensibly, is less about the contest, and more about waste. To wit: "Tim Hortons claims on their website: 'one of the most important areas of action, particularly for our guests, is tackling the waste generated at our restaurant.' However, for their annual Roll Up The Rim promotion, they seem to disregard this concern entirely by forcing hot beverage customers to use (or take) a disposable paper cup for a chance to play. As expected, during Roll Up The Rim, many reusable cup users put aside this green choice for the opportunity to win a prize with a paper cup. This promotion increases disposable cup use by over 30%."
If Tim Hortons agrees to let mug users roll up the rim, Ally Fraser, the woman behind the petition, claims 957,000 pounds of solid waste, and 6,000 trees would be saved. Tim Hortons executives allegedly dismissed Fraser's concerns last year, but the petition now has over 15,000 signatures.
Canada's foremost coffee chain has a lot of experience with petitions. Last summer anti-pipeline customers successfully urged Tim Hortons to yank ads in Alberta for oilsands company Enbridge. Another petition encouraged Tim Hortons to source responsible palm oil, and this Change.org animal welfare petition delivered over 45,000 signatures to the company's brass.