Sustainability alert: Chipotle’s pilot program turns plastic gloves into trash bags
Poland Spring Origin bottles are made with 100 percent recycled plastic.

Sustainability alert: Chipotle’s pilot program turns plastic gloves into trash bags

Plus Rejuvenation, ReStore partner on landfill diversion program and more sustainability-related news.

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Chipotle sets sustainability goals

By 2020, Newport Beach, California-based Chipotle Mexican Grill is committed to testing recyclable or compostable cups and lids, including a strawless option, reducing the amount of plastic in cutlery by 20 percent and starting recycling or composting programs at all restaurants.

With a goal of diverting 50 percent of restaurant waste from landfills by 2020, Chipotle recently conducted detailed waste audits “to better understand its waste patterns,” according to a news release. In doing so, the team learned 95 percent of all gloves used in restaurants end up in a landfill.

Upon discovering materials in the gloves were the same as recycled trash bags used by the brand, Chipotle partnered with Revolution Bag, Salinas, California, to start a pilot program to turn plastic gloves into trash bags. The pilot has expanded from eight restaurants in Portland to 17 restaurants in Sacramento.

"If we truly want to be leaders in this space, we cannot just settle for the best available option," states Caitlin Leibert, director of sustainability at Chipotle. "There is no 'one size fits all solution' for sustainability. We want to revolutionize the way people think about waste and the potential of everyday items like gloves and trash bags."

In addition to waste reduction efforts, Chipotle’s 2018 Sustainability Report reveals the company’s accomplishments toward sustainability goals. Highlights from the report include:

  • 25 percent reduction in average restaurant waste since 2016
  • 42 percent waste diversion from the landfill
  • 100 percent of napkins and paper bags were made with 100 percent recycled fiber
  • 100 percent of the paper in cups were Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified
  • 88 percent of restaurants had a diversion program (recycling and/or or compost for packaging)

Rejuvenation, ReStore partner on landfill diversion program

According to a report by the World Bank, building material accounts for half of the solid waste generated every year worldwide. As Portland, Oregon-based Rejuvenation customers are often tackling remodeling projects, the company has committed to helping customers understand their options to recycle and divert construction material from landfill.

Rejuvenation is partnering with Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore program, which diverts 280,000 tons of waste from landfills per year.

According to a news release, Rejuvenation “will offer resources and education to their customers around how to donate home goods and building materials” to their local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, so materials can be reused and recycled. Rejuvenation stores will also host donation events in partnership with ReStore, as well as share information for free residential donation pick-up services.

“Rejuvenation was started in 1977 as an architectural salvage shop and reuse remains a significant part of who we are today,” says Ryan Ross, Rejuvenation executive vice president. “We look for opportunities to scale sustainability efforts in partnership with our customers and the ReStore program will help to raise awareness of the impact that construction waste has on our landfills.”

Rejuvenation also announced its new linen bedding collection is crafted with 100 percent organic flax fibers from a Portugal-based Fairtrade certified factory, which meets the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS).

LyondellBasell, Suez and Samsonite launch recycled plastic suitcase collection

Rotterdam, Netherlands-based chemical company LyondellBasell, France-based Suez and Hong Kong-based luggage company Samsonite have announced the creation of the “Green Grey” edition of S’Cure ECO, a new suitcase collection made from recycled plastic scrap.

Through its joint venture Quality Circular Polymers (QCP), LyondellBasell and Suez converted post-consumer plastic packaging into high-quality polypropylene. Samsonite used the recycled plastic to create the outer shell of its new limited-edition suitcase collection.

“One of the keys to addressing the challenge of plastic waste is identifying new, innovative uses for used plastics,” remarks Richard Roudeix, senior vice president, olefins and polyolefins, Europe, Asia and International, LyondellBasell. “Samsonite’s unique, innovative application is a perfect use for our recycled material because it ensures used plastic does not end in the environment while providing travelers with a durable, lasting product. This is a win-win.”

Committing to the use of recycled or recyclable material in its products, Samsonite selected a circular polypropylene grade material to create the luggage collection. LyondellBasell developed the material with “high impact resistance, even at low temperatures,” which addresses the demands required for high quality luggage, the release says.

“Our solutions cover the whole value chain to produce secondary raw materials and satisfy the highest standards, from industries to consumers,” says Jean-Marc Boursier, senior executive vice president of Suez, who oversees finance and Northern Europe recycling and recovery activities. “We welcome Samsonite’s initiative, developing the circular economy with a sustainable and reliable product.”

LyondellBasell says it has taken a leading role in the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which launched January 2019. Through QCP, the company is “taking further action to provide sustainable end products on a large scale.”

"We are committed to being a part of the solution to end plastic waste and welcome the opportunity to partner with respected companies like Samsonite towards this goal,” Roudeix says.

Poland Spring bottle made with 100 percent recycled plastic

Maine-based Poland Spring natural spring water is available to consumers across the U.S. for the first time with the launch of Poland Spring Origin. Poland Spring says the 100 percent food-grade recycled plastic bottle is made from other bottles.

Using recycled plastic helps keep plastic out of landfills and oceans and reduces greenhouse gases compared to using virgin plastic, the company says. Poland Spring also encourages consumers to recycle the bottle, so it can be turned into a new bottle in the future.

"Poland Spring is a trusted brand with over 170 years of rich history and is well-known to many in the Northeast and beyond," states Yumiko Clevenger-Lee, vice president and chief marketing officer of Nestlé Waters North America. "For years we've been getting consumer letters, calls and social posts from all over the U.S. requesting we make Poland Spring available nationwide. With the launch of Poland Spring Origin, we are excited to delight consumers throughout the entire U.S.”