Packaging is a hot topic, especially with off-premises channels growing across the board. In a partnership with the NextGen Consortium, Wendy’s is looking to develop more sustainable packaging for its products.
The NextGen Consortium is a multi-year partnership of foodservice industry leaders convened by Closed Loop Partners' Center for the Circular Economy. Wendy's joined the Consortium as a supporting partner to address single-use food packaging waste.
Currently, the Consortium is executing its NextGen Cup Challenge, which is focused on identifying new and existing cup solutions to optimize the hot and cold fiber cup used by many foodservice operations, including Wendy's. Challenge winners will be announced on Feb. 27, 2019, at the GreenBiz conference.
"We're thrilled to have Wendy's join us and other like-minded, innovative partners to participate in the NextGen Consortium," said Kate Daly, executive director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. "Together, we can work to develop smarter packaging solutions and combat the global environmental consequences of single-use food packaging."
"At Wendy's, we know that our customers are increasingly aware of packaging waste and its impact on the environment, and they're already doing their part to be more conscious about their product use and recycling habits," said Liliana Esposito, Wendy's chief communications officer. "Our Squarely Sustainable approach is the next step for Wendy's—embracing our role as part of the solution. By sharing goals and regular updates, we'll outline areas where we need to drive progress and hold ourselves accountable to our commitments."
Squarely Sustainable, a nod to the Wendy's brand's signature square hamburgers, is the brand’s four-pronged approach to sustainability that includes using less and reducing unnecessary materials use, seeking sustainable materials where possible, identifying consumer actions that can drive change and working with others to find solutions “on important issues.”
With its packaging, Wendy's has focused on eliminating certain materials of concern and removing unnecessary paper and plastic waste. It eliminated Styrofoam from restaurants in 2012. More recently, Wendy's reduced fiber and plastic in several packaging formats, including fry cartons, straws and bags, reducing by several million pounds the amount of paper and plastic materials used in these items.