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Sep 10, 2021

Taco Bell Wants You to Mail in Used Sauce Packets for Recycling

Taco Bell partners with TerraCycle to launch a nationwide pilot program to recycle used sauce packets by having customers mail them in.

The sauce packets are made of common single-use flexible film materials that are not recyclable through your curbside recycling container and therefore end up in a landfill to the tune of 8.2 billion used packets a year. While some of those can be captured in-restaurant (something that they're working on), currently over 75 percent of Taco Bell transactions take place at the drive-thru, which is where TerraCycle comes in.

TerraCycle is an international recycling company that "collects traditionally non-recyclable items, cleans them, then melts, and remolds them into hard plastic that can be used to make recycled products."

The pilot program for mailing in your used Taco Bell sauce packets involves four steps:

"- Sign up for a TerraCycle account, if you don't already have one.

- Collect empty sauce packets within a cardboard box or any other recyclable container you already have on hand.

- Once your collection box is full, log into your TerraCycle account to download and print a free shipping label.

- Ship your box via UPS."

TerraCycle has seen success with similar mail-in collection programs for items such as coffee capsules, candy and snack wrappers, office supplies, and more.

Taco Bell will placing QR codes, that lead to the instructions online, at the drive-thru and inside their restaurants near condiment stations and trash bins.

The program marks another step towards Taco Bell's world-wide goal of having "all consumer-facing packaging recyclable, compostable, or reusable by 2025 in its restaurants."

Photo via Taco Bell.