Sunday, May 6, 2012

Subway Switches to Recycled Salad Containers

Subway Switches to Recycled Salad Containers

Michael Fox, packaging technologist, and Elizabeth Stewart, marketing director for Subway restaurants, show off new recycled salad bowls. Photo: Subway

Subway’s motto is “Eat Fresh,” but now you can keep green while you eat greens.
The world’s largest fast food chain, which surpassed McDonald’s in number of total restaurants early last year, has announced that its salad containers will now be made from 95 percent post consumer recycled materials. The plastic mainly comes from recycled soda and water bottles.
This move will keep 2.62 million pounds of plastic from entering landfills, representing a staggering 500,000 barrels of petroleum, Subway says in a statement. The restaurant chain is also looking to find new pieces of plastic in its everyday operations that can be switched to post consumer materials.

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This is one of many measures taken by Subway to implement “green” principles. Last August, the chain opened five new eco-friendly restaurants, which are built to reduce water, food and energy waste. LEED certification, solar panels and high efficiency air conditioning are commonplace in the 14 total “eco-friendly” restaurants.

While all of Subway’s materials are recyclable before sandwich preparation, food stained paper is not, which presents another challenge for the fast food industry. In 2007, Subway implemented recycling bins in some of its stores, but most of the chain’s nearly 37,000 stores still give a trash-only option to dine in customers.

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