Subway Improves Catering Experience While Reducing Waste


May 08, 2013

As concern for the environment grows, many restaurant franchises across Canada and the world are adjusting their services to reduce waste and protect the environment at the same time. Subway has taken a big step towards a more eco-friendly operation by changing the trays used for catering. The company has transitioned to using serving trays that use 95 percent PET recycled from post-consumer sources. It may seem like a small step, but this one change will have a big impact on the environment.

Expansive Adoption

While not all of the global locations have joined the bandwagon yet, the company reports that 29,000 of the restaurants in North America now use the new trays. It is estimated that these changes will reduce total plastic waste produced by Subway by 1.8 million pounds per year, according to PR Newswire. (} The manufacturer of the trays is removing nearly 20 plastic soda and water bottles from the waste stream to create each durable tray. These trays can then be recycled again if the customers that order catering take them to local facilities. Changes like these will produce a meaningful impact in landfills across both countries.

Continuing Commitments

The company has been working on their environmental impact for years, with each change reducing waste of both energy and materials. Efforts taken in 2012 included adjustments to the design and manufacturing of the bowls used for holding salads. Both the bowls and the new trays are produced by the Pactiv company from Illinois. Beverage bottles made of PET plastic are cleaned and recycled in their facility and used to form the serving trays and bowls for Subway. The bowls contribute another 2.62 million pounds of diverted waste to the total, bringing it over 4 million between just these two basic adjustments. The company is clearly demonstrating that there's no need for radical changes just to shrink the environmental footprint and attract attention from consumers.

Attractive Displays

The catering trays are also improved in other ways beyond their recycled content. The clear tops and molded wells hold the sandwich sections, so guests can quickly pick the type they like best. Condiments are also stored in small cups on one side to help your party guests customize their sandwich right before they eat. Even napkins are included in the packaging from this franchise in Canada. When diners are done, the tray can be rinsed and deposited at any local collection point for PET plastics.

Catering with Care

There's no need to skip catering if you are concerned about the environment. Feeding a large crowd without spending hours cooking won't create a pile of trash if you choose an option like Subway Catering. Many event organizers are choosing eco-friendly options so their guests feel comfortable attending. Subway has been capitalizing on their healthier menu options as well when helping families plan reunions for members of all ages. The two parts of the catering trays snap together securely to make transport easy and eliminate spills when carrying the sandwiches.