Taco Bell Will Now Recycle Sauce Packets from Any Brand

Franchise Industry Trends - Taco Bell

The Fast-Casual Franchise Works with TerraCycle, Which Specializes in Difficult Recycling

Taco Bell has just gotten greener. Last year the fast-food Mexican restaurant partnered with TerraCycle to devise a way to reuse its hot sauce packets, some 8 million of which are used every year. Now Taco Bell, one of the franchises under the Yum! Brands umbrella has taken the initiative a monster step further by permitting plastic sauce pouches from any brand to be returned free through its recycling project, according to restaurantbusinessonline.com.

To participate, consumers need to download a prepaid shipping label so they can send TerraCycle their used sauce packets. Trenton, N.J.-based TerraCycle cleans the packets and melts them into a hard plastic that can be molded into some other product.

Tested With New Jersey Taco Bell Franchisee

In a statement, Missy Schaaphok, Taco Bell’s director of global nutrition and sustainability, said the idea was tried out earlier this year and well-received. “We worked with TerraCycle and a franchisee in New Jersey to test out the concept,” Schaaphok said, “and it was such a success [that] we decided to take the idea nationwide.” This gives a sustainable option to everyone, she stated.

As a bonus, participants can earn TerraCycle points, which can be contributed to a nonprofit organization or school that they wish to support, according to the restaurantbusinessonline.com report. TerraCycle points are worth 1 cent each as a donation to a nonprofit or school, or the points may be redeemed for charitable gifts.

Taco Bell on a Green Mission

Taco Bell’s sauce-packet recycling program is part of its larger mission to cut landfill waste. The company has set a goal of making all of its consumer packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025.

With 7,000-plus restaurants in more than 30 countries around the globe, Taco Bell’s eco-friendly actions are sure to make a difference. The company, now 60 years old, launched its first restaurant in Downey, Calif. It has been franchising since 1964.

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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