KFC Sheds Three Million Pounds of Packaging

Jun 9, 2014 9:15 AM ET

KFC UK and Ireland is finding new ways to provide customers the high quality they depend on while also reducing its environmental impact. One way is through smart packaging changes, two of which have reduced packaging by more than 3 million pounds (1,400 tonnes) already – roughly the same weight as 127 double-decker buses.

The KFC team achieved this by switching from cardboard ‘clamshells’ to paper wrappers for Fillet and Zinger sandwiches and transitioned its classic chicken meals, the Colonel’s Meal and Variety Meal, from cardboard boxes to paper bags.

“Also during 2013 we developed ways to reduce bag sizes and remove box liners,” said Ian Hagg, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, KFC UK&I. “These changes started in February 2014 and will save 125 tonnes (275,000 pounds) of paper per year.”

Many of KFC’s products and packaging currently use only recycled or recyclable materials, including:

  • The iconic bucket, which can be widely recycled now that it does not have a plastic coating
  • Napkins
  • Krushems cups, which contain 40 to 50 percent recycled materials
  • Mini Fillet Burger wrappers, which is 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable following a change to paper from foil

KFC is now investigating how to make further improvements by changing its use of plastics. “Our ideal is that 100 percent of the various branded plastics in our packing is made from either recycled materials, readily-recyclable or compostable materials,” said Hagg.

As part of its packaging review, the team will collect and assess data on current materials throughout 2014 and work with suppliers to determine ways to serve beans and gravy in recyclable plastic pots.