Industry News | February 24, 2010

Quiznos Gets In On the Green

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Quiznos announced it is going green with a number of packaging changes that will be implemented across its system.

The sandwich chain is rolling out new cups, lids, salad bowls, napkins, and catering boxes that are more environmentally friendly, made with renewable or recycled materials.

“We did a little bit of research and found that the domestic waste stream consists of so much containers and packaging,” says Ellen Kramer, executive vice president of communications for Quiznos.

“As part of that space, we need to impact the disposable market as much as we can and try to find more items that are post-consumer recycled, as well as create opportunities for using less paper.”

Kramer says Quiznos will use less paper by switching to a new sub sleeve—similar to the one it uses for its Torpedo option—for all sandwiches.

The other packaging changes, which Kramer expects to be fully implemented in the next couple of months, include a switch to 100 percent compostable, wax-coated paper cups; pulp salad bowls made of renewable sugarcane; plastic lids made of 30 percent post-consumer-recycled PET bottles; napkins made of 100 percent recycled material and fibers; and catering boxes made of 100 percent recycled paperboard.

Kramer says the switch to the new packaging materials will have no financial impact on franchisees, and that the company was able to keep costs low by working with its vendors.

But while environmentally friendly practices also require a hand from consumers—recyclable products need to actually end up in recycle bins—Kramer says that part of going green is not yet possible for Quiznos.

“We’re looking into what we can do to negotiate with municipalities and other governments to find out if we can introduce more recycling [containers], if we can try to get more of our waste taken to composting facilities, if we can get our waste taken to sorting facilities,” she says.

“With this packaging, we tried to choose products that use post-consumer products to reduce the waste going in, because it’s harder to control the waste going out.”

Kramer says there is a need for every quick serve to do its part in the sustainability movement. For Quiznos, this switch to green packaging is only the beginning.

“We’re looking specifically at how we can use less energy at our supply chain and additional packaging choices that we can make,” Kramer says. “I think when we started down this path, we made some decisions that have come a long way from where we were, but we see there is even further that we can go.”

By Sam Oches