Taco Bell gives those hot sauce packets a second use

Taco Bell partners with Terracycle to Recycle Sauce Packets, photo provided by Taco Bell
Taco Bell partners with Terracycle to Recycle Sauce Packets, photo provided by Taco Bell /

A stop at Taco Bell always comes with a handful of hot sauce packets. From mild to hot, that extra boost of flavor just makes that burrito, taco or even that Quesalupa even tastier. How many packets do you use per meal?

The quick service restaurant brand said that “8.2 billion sauce packets (are) used in the U.S. each year.” But, what happens to those used packets? Isn’t there a better option that adding to the ever-overflowing landfill problem?

In a new launch, Taco Bell has become the first quick service restaurant to partner with Terracycle. The brand Terracycle has been a leader in re-purposing non-recycable materials into a usable product. Other brands have partnered with the company to find ways to re-purpose items that would otherwise be trash.

How is Taco Bell using hot sauce packets to promote its eco-friendly initiatives?

While many people find stopping at a quick service restaurant as a convenient food choice, each meal comes with waste. From the extra napkins in the bag to the wrappers, each element adds up. And, what about the hot sauce packets?

Liz Matthews, Taco Bell’s Global Chief Food Innovation Officer, said “In the food industry today, there is no widely available solution for recycling the flexible film packets that are so commonly used for condiments. So, we’re thrilled to leverage the expertise of TerraCycle to recycle our iconic sauce packet packaging in a way that’s as bold and innovative as our menu.”

Taco Bell Recycles Hot Sauce Packets
Taco Bell Recycles Hot Sauce Packets, photo provided by Taco Bell /

While there has been much commentary about the scarcity of condiment packets recently, the reality is that those individual packages do create a trash issue. Although the communal condiment option might not be right choice in the current climate, there needs to be a compromise. In some ways, the secondary use option is a viable solution.

Although the concept “Eliminating the Idea of Waste” is still in its infancy stages, consumers are more aware. In the past year, the amount of takeout containers and packaging has seen substantial increases. Even though people many want to recycle them, the reality is that the packaging cannot go in that blue bin. While people have good intentions, the key is to find better solutions to the problem.

Since Taco Bell is pushing the conversation in a positive direction, it will be interesting to see how other brands follow. Maybe in the future, there won’t be just one trash bin. Although bringing personal packaging might not be feasible, the reality is that reducing waste is key.

More information on this program and its availability will be coming soon. Until then, remember, don’t throw away unused hot sauce packets. Keep them for the next food order.

Related Story. Ready to take a trip to try the Bell Apple Freeze?. light

What is your favorite Taco Bell menu item? Which hot sauce packet flavor is your favorite?