The SUBWAY® chain has announced that the salad bowls and lids now used in most of its 36,634 restaurants [their term for what many of us call ‘submarine shops’] around the world are now made from 95% post-consumer recycled PET, mostly from used water and soft drink bottles. PET is one of the most easily and cost-effectively recycled plastic packaging materials. Recycling of PET [though apparently not for SUBWAY®] is taking place in Canada, at least 20 round trips can be achieved when using recycled PET, and Health Canada has approved used of recycled PET in food contact applications – in fact it is already used for a number of brands of bottled water produced in Canada. PET is polyester, the same material used in the form of fibre to make clothing, textiles, shopping bags, and other commonly encountered consumer goods.
SUBWAY® claims that by using the 95% PCR PET it is keeping 2.62 million pounds of plastic from hitting the landfills, which represents about 500,000 gallons, or 10,000 barrels, of petroleum needed to make the plastic bowls and lids.
GallonDaily also found pretty impressive the information about the SUBWAY® environmental and social responsibility program presented at http://www.subway.com/subwayroot/about_us/Social_Responsibility/default.aspx