- Taco Bell and TerraCycle are expanding their sauce packet recycling program to accept sauce packets from all brands, rather than just Taco Bell, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive Monday.
- Taco Bell’s partnership with TerraCycle previously applied only to Taco Bell sauce packets.
- The companies began testing the expanded program with a New Jersey Taco Bell franchisee this spring.
With the expansion of this program, consumers can now collect any empty sauce packets and mail them to TerraCycle’s facilities using free, pre-paid shipping labels provided by the waste management firm. TerraCycle will incentivize consumers to use the program by awarding points to those who ship used sauce packets, which can be donated to non-profits, schools, offices or charitable organizations chosen by the consumer.
The program aligns with Taco Bell’s stated goal of making consumer packaging generally recyclable. Once shipped to TerraCycle, the sauce packets are melted into hard plastic for use in other goods.
“Through this ground-breaking expansion, consumers now have an even greater opportunity to reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills and make a positive impact on the environment for future generations,” TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky said in the press release.
Packaging is a key concern for sustainability-minded consumers, an April Deliverect study finds. Fifty-four percent of consumers prefer to order from restaurants that don’t use excess packaging for delivery, while 56% would prefer to a restaurant that uses eco-friendly packaging.
This effort also reflects a broader push by Yum Brands to improve the sustainability of its restaurant chains. In 2020, Taco Bell committed to making its packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable across the globe by 2025. The chain also pledged to add recycling and composting bins at units where they are allowed by local regulations. Yum also aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 46% by 2030.