Taco Bell's Packaging Will Be More Eco-Friendly By 2025

mbg Editorial Assistant By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Editorial Assistant
Eliza Sullivan is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She has bachelor's degrees in journalism and english literature from Boston University.
Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Paper Dishes And Glass Collection

Image by Marc Tran / Stocksy

Taco Bell has announced a commitment to getting all their packaging recyclable, compostable, or reusable by 2025.

They'll also be banning PFAS, phthalates, and BPAs from the packaging that reaches customers (no word on whether they'll also nix these from their shipping and processing program). According to their website, this process is one of three commitments they're making in 2020. They're also committing to "celebrate vegetarian" options, expanding the all-vegetarian menu they launched in 2019.

According to the brand's website, some of their packaging is already "reusable" (the mini Skillet Bowl is even dishwasher-safe), so it will be interesting to see if they make it more evident that the new reusable packaging is just that.

But the emphasis in their new initiative will also be on changing a major part of the fast food experience by using reusable dine-in options in stores where that's an option. They'll also work recycling and composting into their store model.

"That's going to be a big, big focus for us," said Missy Schaaphok, Taco Bell's global nutrition and sustainability manager, "so that we can ensure that all of our packaging will either be recyclable or compostable rather than ending up in the landfill."

A statement from the director of the Mind the Store Campaign, Mike Schade, said "We appreciate Taco Bell taking these initial steps. However, five years is too long for their customers to continue to be exposed to these unnecessary toxic chemicals."

Some states, like Maine and Washington, have already announced phase-outs of PFAS and other dangerous substances in food packaging by January 1, 2022, or as soon as safer alternatives are available.

This is another move from the chain to decrease their carbon footprint, as it ended their use of plastic bags in 2015, swapping them for paper across the country.

While it may not be considered the healthiest of restaurants, there are ways to order healthier foods at Taco Bell (that's right). Their newest commitments show that bigger brands are starting to take more accountability (just as we expected for 2020), and we're excited to see if more brands follow this move.

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