Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill has become the first restaurant chain in the country to use the new 100%-recycled post-consumer PET Bottle Box™ container. This month, Rubio's is rolling out a new Bottle Box salad bowl, the first custom-made product designed by Direct Pack, Inc. and manufactured by Global PET using a true bottle-to-box recycling process.
Headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, Rubio's operates, licenses or franchises more than 195 restaurants in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. The new packaging is just one part of a comprehensive new plan for eco-friendly practices http://www.rubios.com/socialresponsibility/environment that Rubio's has unveiled. Other packaging-related initiatives include:
• The expansion of in-store recycling
• Reusable Rubio's a-Go-Go Catering bags
• Conversion to bioplastic (compostable) beer cups
• Compostable, bleach-free napkins
• Paper menus made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper and 10% recycled materials
• A goal to be totally Styrofoam-free and to use only compostable, reusable, recycled, and/or recyclable containers by the end of 2011.
"While Rubio's offers grilled chicken, steak, and pork menu items, we're famous for our Baja-style fish tacos and other seafood specialties; so it's important for us to preserve a healthy ocean," says Ralph Rubio, chairman and co-founder of Rubio's. "We understand that of the 15 billion pounds of plastic produced each year in the U.S., about ten percent of it ends up in the sea. Rubio's sells approximately 460,000 water bottles a year, which could be recycled and used to make 115,000 Bottle Box salad bowls and lids, keeping them out of the ocean and saving approximately 37 cubic yards of landfill space."
Craig Snedden, president of Direct Pack, says, "More than 80 percent of households in the country have access to curbside or community drop-off recycling centers, and surveys show PET bottles have the highest recycling rates of any plastic bottle types. We encourage Californians and the rest of the country to recycle so that we can do our part for the environment. Producing new plastic products from recycled materials uses two-thirds less energy than producing plastics from new raw materials, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions as well."