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Taco Bell asks customers to mail in their used HOT SAUCE PACKETS to be recycled

Taco Bell wants customers to mail in their used hot sauce packets.

The chain announced today that it is introducing a new recycling program in partnership with TerraCycle, in which diners can collect their old sauce packets and ship them in — so that ‘one day, used hot sauce packets will be transformed and given a second life.’

The nationwide pilot program  aims to reduce the waste created by the 8.2 billion single-use packets that it says are thrown out in the US every year. 

Taco Bell is starting a new sauce packet recycling program, wherein customers can mail in collections of used sauce packets

Taco Bell said that it is committed to making ‘all consumer-facing packaging recyclable, compostable, or reusable by 2025 in its restaurants across the globe.’

This is the first step of that process.

‘As simple as it sounds, it’s important to remember to first reduce our consumption habits, then reuse products wherever possible, and then recycle,’ Taco Bell’s Director of Global Nutrition & Sustainability Missy Schaaphok said in a press release. 

‘We’re excited that TerraCycle has provided a way for us to extend the life cycle of our iconic sauce packets as we reevaluate the rest of our packaging suite.’  

Customers who wish to participate will need to start by signing up for a TerraCycle account online.

As they visit Taco Bell, they can collect their packets in a container or box at home and, when it’s full, they can print a shipping label and drop the package off at UPS.

It’s TerraCycle’s job to then take the packets — which are traditionally non-recyclable — and clean them, meld them, and remold them into hard plastic that can be used to make recycled products.

‘It may sound strange to save used hot sauce packets, but TerraCycle has seen success with similar collection programs for coffee capsules, chewing gum and more,’ reads the press release.   

‘Since our founding, TerraCycle has made it our mission to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste” and provide solutions for items that are not traditionally recyclable curbside,’ said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle. 

‘This unique recycling program not only highlights the forward-thinking nature of Taco Bell, but also marks a huge step forward for the quick service industry on its journey towards more sustainable business practices.’ 

This year, Burger King began testing reusable containers, which customers are able to request at some locations

This year, Burger King began testing reusable containers, which customers are able to request at some locations

Taco Bell is one of several fast food chains making moves to be more green.

This year, Burger King began testing reusable containers, which customers are able to request at some locations in New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Tokyo.

Those who do so are charged a deposit for the containers and cups, and they can later get their money back after they scan the packaging through an app and return it.

Burger King also worked with TerraCycle on the so-called closed-loop system, which creates no waste because the special packages are repeatedly cleaned and re-used.   

Burger King said that its reusable containers would be cleaned with Loop’s ‘state of the art’ cleaning systems that are aligned with its own ‘rigorous safety procedures around cleanliness and hygiene, all of which have become even more pressing during the current pandemic.’  

Testing it out! In 2019, Pizza hut debuted a round, compostable box

Testing it out! In 2019, Pizza hut debuted a round, compostable box

And in 2019, Pizza Hut promoted its first-ever plant-based pizza — which was topped with Kellogg’s Incogmeato plant-based Italian sausage, onions, mushrooms and banana peppers — by serving it up in a special eco-friendly box.

The box, which was made by Zume, used less packaging thanks to its round shape, and was completely compostable.

It was available for just one day at a single location in Phoenix, Arizona, but the pizza chain announced plans to offer the box at more locations in the future. 

‘This revolutionary round box — the result of a two-year journey — is the most innovative packaging we’ve rolled out to date,’ Pizza Hut’s Chief Customer & Operations Officer Nicolas Burquier said. 

‘The round box was engineered to make our products taste even better — by delivering hotter, crispier pizzas. This box is a win, win — it will improve the pizza-eating experience for our customers and simplify the operating experience for our team members.’   

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