Fast food restaurant chain Subway has introduced a new range of salad bowls and lids made from 95% post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials, after committing to make its restaurants and operations more environmentally responsible.

Subway aims to keep 2.62 million lbs of plastic from hitting the landfills, which represents about 500,000 gallons or 10,000 barrels of petroleum required to make the packaging.

The salad bowls and lids are made with polyethylene terephalate (PET) by US-based Pactiv and are being used in 36,000 locations globally.

Pactiv purchases recycled soda and water bottles, recycles them at its facilities and manufactures them back into bowls and lids.

Subway packaging technologist Michael Fox said the restaurant chain has worked with Pactiv to re-design its bowls to use less plastic material, while still holding the same quantity of food.

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By GlobalData

"Using recycled materials, and reducing the amount of new virgin plastic, allows us to create a more sustainable product that works just as well as its predecessor. And we are able to do this without increasing costs. This is something we are all very excited about," Fox said.

The move is part of Subway’s proposal to make its restaurants and operations environmentally responsible. As part of the initiative, Subway is providing reusable Fresh Fit For Kids meal bags with conservancy themes from 1 March through 31 May in partnership with conservation organisation Nature Conservancy.

The reusable bags, available in almost 25,000 restaurants in the US, feature species benefiting from the organisation’s conservation efforts across air, land and sea.


Image: Subway packaging technologist Michael Fox and marketing director Elizabeth Stewart with the new salad bowls and lids. Photo: Subway