Courtesy of Quiznos
In an effort to make its restaurants and take-away containers more environmentally friendly, Quiznos has kicked off its "Eat Toasty, Be Green" campaign with the introduction of new biodegradable packaging.
Quiznos is introducing 100 percent compostable wax-coated paper cups, pulp salad bowls made from renewable sugarcane and napkins made from 100 percent recycled material and fibers. Plastic lids will be 30 percent post-consumer recycled PET bottles and catering lunch boxes will be made from 100 percent recycled paperboard.
The company is also outfitting its employees with uniforms made from 100 percent recycled soda pop bottles. One hat keeps six soda bottles out of the landfill. An apron is made from about 25 bottles.
"We first looked at our cups and salad bowls and salad lids. We were using plastic salad bowls and we wound up finding a vendor that has a renewable sugarcane-pulp bowl that's recyclable, biodegradable and compostable," Ellen Kramer, executive vice president of communications for Quiznos, told Slashfood.
Kramer said that the packaging and uniform changes are just the first step to help make the company more environmentally friendly while keeping costs down for its franchise owners. The company franchises are individually owned and operated, but Quiznos controls operational and product decisions.
"At our volumes we were able to get it at a very reasonable price. I think there's a preconception about green -- that if you go green its going to cost more," Kramer told Slashfood. "To make a difference just by finding a market for more recycled pop bottles has just been remarkable,"
The company began making changes when founder and CEO Rick Schaden realized his kids were making small changes around the houses -- recycling, changing light bulbs and making more environmentally conscious decisions. They asked the same of him, Kramer said.
Shaden then asked what Quiznos could be doing differently and the company brought in consultants who could help them make changes in both the short and long term. Packaging could be changed quickly. On the other hand, helping franchisees compost will be a long-term project.
"While packaging changes are a small step in the grand scheme of going green, we know that using packaging that is made in part from recycled materials or that is compostable is a great way to start. It's a change we're passionate about making," Schaden said in a statement.