Customers to earn points for returning used sauce packets to Taco Bell
Taco Bell wants help reducing its carbon footprint. The popular Mexican fast-food restaurant is asking customers to send used sauce packets back to the company so that they can be recycled.
8.2 billion sauce packets are used in the U.S. each year, according to Taco Bell, which committed in April to recycle its sauce packets rather than send them to a garbage dump.
Taco Bell announced at the time that it would be collaborating with TerraCycle, a private U.S.-based recycler, in order to give its sauce packets “a spicier second life that doesn’t involve a landfill.”
“In the food industry today, there is no widely available solution for recycling the flexible film packets that are so commonly used for condiments,” said Liz Matthews, Taco Bell’s Global Chief Food Innovation Officer, in April. “So, we’re thrilled to leverage the expertise of TerraCycle to recycle our iconic sauce packet packaging in a way that’s as bold and innovative as our menu.”
Taco Bell’s newly rolled out nationwide pilot program is asking customers to sign up for an account with TerraCycle, gather empty sauce packets in a recyclable container, and ship them back to the company using the U.S. Postal Service.
“Now more than ever, consumers don’t want to sacrifice the planet no matter how delicious the meal,” said TerraCycle CEO and Founder, Tom Szaky, in April. “Together, Taco Bell and TerraCycle will push the quick service industry by finally finding a way to recycle this type of product. This effort takes us one step closer to keeping packets out of landfills and our mission of ‘Eliminating the Idea of Waste.’”
Customers will be able to print out a free shipping label from TerraCycle’s website. Taco Bell said it plans to use signage and put up QR codes around its restaurants to promote participation in the program.
Taco Bell is offering incentives for customer participation through a points system. One hundred points will be rewarded for every pound of sauce packet collected. Points can go toward either gifts or cash donations (one cent awarded per point) to charitable organizations.
TerraCycle has previously worked with companies including Unilever, Nestlé, and Procter & Gamble, reports CNN Business, to manufacture reusable packaging as a replacement for single-use packaging.