KFC has pledged to lean on its suppliers for more sustainable catering wares after announcing a global commitment that all plastic-based, consumer-facing packaging will be recoverable or reusable by 2025.
The goal supports the chain’s long-term plan to implement a more sustainable packaging strategy in its restaurants – by both developing and using sustainable packaging options – and builds on progress already made in some markets to eliminate plastic packaging items.
“As a global brand that operates more than 22,000 restaurants in over 135 countries, KFC is in a position to have a real impact on how the industry approaches waste and packaging management overall,” said CEO Tony Lowings.
“With environmental sustainability as a core aspect of how we do business, this commitment represents a public acknowledgment of the obligation we have to address these serious issues.”
To meet these goals, KFC has developed a roadmap that includes partnering with major suppliers and franchisees globally to identify plastic alternatives in each market.
The restaurant chain is working on several key initiatives related to achieving these goals, including conducting an audit of current systems with franchisees to identify plastic waste reduction opportunities.
It is also partnering with suppliers to identify sustainable packaging alternatives for items such as straws, plastic bags, cutlery and lids, as well as setting market-specific goals to reduce, reuse and recycle.
KFC will support franchisees to define and implement their own sustainability agenda to address the unique needs of local markets and customers.
Markets will also continue to have their own, additional local sustainability goals that vary based on local market conditions and regulations.
Several markets have already announced plans to reduce the use of certain plastics, including: KFC Singapore’s intention to stop providing plastic straws and cup lids in its 84 restaurants.
KFC Romania and France have declared common goal to replace all plastic straws with paper, while KFC India has removed consumer plastic bags from their restaurants and is transitioning to sustainable alternatives for plastic cups, bowls, ‘sporks’ and straws.