Greener Package award: food & pharmaceutical packaging category

Reusable KFC Sides Container


KFC is excited to announce the introduction of our new reusable individual sides container. This clear base and red lid is made from polypropylene (SPI code #5) and is specifically designed to be consumer reusable (mirowaveable and dishwasher safe) and later recycled. In the EPA's pyramid of sustainability, reusability is preferred over recyling, recovery and landfilling. Polypropylene has the smallest carbon footprint of any polymer. The change from polystyrene to polypropylene has reduced the shipping cube by 14%. Historically, KFC has used an expanded polystyrene one time use individual container, which is not recyclable in most municipalities. Through consumer research, KFC found that consumers prefer reusable containers because it gives them control of how the container is re-used or disposed of after purchase. KFC's initial research also found that 60% of consumers keep a reusable container for at least 6 weeks. This innovative container changes the traditional "single use" paradigm that is associated with the quick service industry. KFC believes that polypropylene is a more sustainable packaging material and this change is consistent with the EPA's Solid Waste Management Pyramid (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover Energy).

Effective Recovery

RECYCLE - The KFC sides containers are recyclable, made of polypropylene (#5). As reported at the 2009 Biopolymers Symposium, "Of the fossil fuel-based resins, only polypropylene can be considered sustainable, per the scorecard, based mainly on the environmental merits of the monomer propylene and the ability to introduce large amounts of post-consumer recycled content." REUSE - The implementation of a reusable package extends the package life cycle while in the consumer's hands. Based on initial research, the average consumer will reuse a container for at least 6 weeks beyond date of purchase. The use of these containers will likely reduce the need and use of empty containers purchased expressly for home food storage. RECOVER ENERGY - As an end-of-life solid waste component, and part of a "waste-to-energy" program, polypropylene has the highest value in stored energy when incinerated - 38 million BTU's per ton of material. Wood contains only the amount of energy. Coal contains only 1/2 the BTU's on average, per ton.

Community Benefit

KFC consumers are instructed that the package is reusable by the embossing on the bowl and the lid. The KFC website will reference the environmental advantages

Material Health

1. The KFC sides containers, made of polypropylene, are heat-tolerant to 230F, and will not produce off-gassing or off-flavors like containers made of other materials. 2. They are BPA-free and phthalate-free.

Resource & Energy Optimization

Polypropylene production requires 25% less energy than general purpose polystyrene production. Polypropylene resin production generates 1/2 the amount of greenhouse gases as compared to general purpose polystyrene.

Categories: Polymer (Petroleum-based) Food and Beverage Rigid Greener Package Award Winner