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30/03/01 . Nicole Maestri . . USA  
A new container for the Big Mac  
McDonald's OK's EarthShell's container for its burger  

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (CBS.MW) - There's only one way to get a Big Mac - and now that way is wrapped in an EarthShell hinged-lid container.

EarthShell Corp. (ERTH: news, msgs, alerts) said late Thursday that McDonald's gave the final approval to use its environmentally friendly containers to package the Big Mac hamburger.

"This is the most significant development to date for our company," said Simon K. Hodson, Chief Executive Officer, in a statement.

In trading Friday, shares soared 91 percent to $2.50.

The containers had been on trial in Chicago since April, and EarthShell said 7 million of them had been used so far. EarthShell said the containers are made out of reclaimed potato starch, natural limestone, post-consumer recycled fiber and biodegradable wax coating.

The packaging company said it will now work with McDonald's (MCD: news, msgs, alerts) to expand its products.

EarthShell also released quarterly results, posting a loss of $7.6 million, or 7 cents per share, compared with a loss of $11.3 million, or 11 cents per share, in the comparable year-earlier quarter. There were no analyst estimates provided by First Call.

The results excluded a one-time $11 million charge to write-off equipment and install manufacturing lines.

Shares of McDonald's finished up $1.21, or 4.8 percent, to $26.49.  
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