TSR Foodie: Taco Bell is trying to save the planet, one packet of hot sauce at a time.
According to reports, the fast food chain requires people to mail used hot sauce bags to them so that Taco Bell can reuse them to recycle part of the 8 billion pounds of used hot sauce bags that go into the U.S. landfill every year . CNN.
Taco Bell is working with recycling company TerraCycle to achieve this goal.
The program works as follows: customers register for a TerraCycle account, collect empty sauce packets in recyclable containers, print free shipping labels from TerraCycle’s website, and ship the boxes back via UPS.
Taco Bell did not deliver the used sauce packets to the restaurant, but used the mail, because it said that “most” of the transactions took place at the drive-through window and the food was eaten outside the restaurant.
It also found that this is the preferred way for customers to send them sauce packs during the planned trial run, and the mail helps them “minimize the shipping footprint and ship the preserved sauce packs when they are full.”
Taco Bell will display QR codes and other signs in various parts of its restaurant to promote the program and simplify registration.
The large number of sauce packets discarded every year may damage the environment. According to a study published in Science, if people do not take action, by 2040 there will be approximately 710 million tons of plastic polluting the environment.
Taco Bell was one of the first major food brands to use TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based company that helps large companies become more environmentally friendly. TerraCycle has partnered with other big brands such as Procter & Gamble and Nestlé to help create reusable packaging to replace the disposable packaging that messes up landfills.
Taco Bell hopes that by 2025, the packaging used by its customers will be completely “recyclable, compostable or reusable” in 7,000 locations around the world.
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