Our journey to sustainable packaging
To accomplish this, over the next five years, Wendy’s will optimize our customer-facing packaging and transition to sustainable options, including items that:
- Have higher recycled content1
- Use fewer raw materials
- Adhere to an established restricted substance list 2
- Are recyclable, compostable or reusable3
- Are sourced from areas that do not contribute to deforestation4
We have increased the percentage of packaging meeting our sustainable sourcing goal from 44% in 2020 to 48% in 2021, following our transition to recycled content in tray liners in the U.S. and Canada, and to paper straws in Canada. We also initiated the roll-out of our new beverage cups with increased recyclability in Q4 2021. Additionally, as of the end of 2021, no customer-facing packaging identified as intentionally containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances is sourced for our Wendy’s U.S. and Canada restaurants.5
In 2021, we announced a new collaboration with packaging and plastics industry leaders Berry Global and LyondellBasell that will help us move from a selection of plastic-lined paper cups with limited recyclability to single-substrate, clear plastic drink cups that more customers will be able to recycle.
As we introduce packaging with increased recyclability, it is important that we educate consumers on what packaging can be recycled and how to do so. That is why in 2021, Wendy’s joined the How2Recycle label program. Through this program, Wendy’s packaging in the U.S. and Canada will feature educational information for customers on proper ways to dispose of and recycle restaurant packaging.
Joining the NextGen Consortium
In 2019, Wendy’s became a supporting partner of the NextGen Consortium, a collaboration managed by Closed Loop Partners that is devoted to finding global solutions to reduce single-use food packaging waste. We continue to work closely with NextGen as it expands its work beyond its initial focus on fiber to-go cups. NextGen Consortium is now working to identify even more opportunities to advance the design, commercialization and recovery of packaging alternatives — from new materials and recovery strategies to reusable packaging systems that keep materials in use for as long as possible.