Last week, we received a press release from TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based company that collects and recycles anything from cigarette butts and chewing gum to personal protective equipment. The press release was about Taco Bell launching a nationwide pilot program with TerraCycle to “encourage the collection and recycling of its iconic sauce packets and give them a spicy new life.” U.S. customers can now mail-in their used sauce packets to TerraCycle for recycling into hard plastics for product manufacturing. “The Taco Bell Sauce Packet® Recycling Program will help to address the 8.2 billion single-use sauce packets a year that would otherwise end up in landfill,” notes the press release. “Since the majority of Taco Bell transactions currently take place at the drive-thru and fans eat their meal out-of-restaurant, U.S. customers can mail-in their packets via four simple steps.”
Those steps include signing up for a TerraCycle account, collecting empty sauce packets within a cardboard box or any other recyclable container, and once full, print a free shipping label and send the box via UPS. “In other words? Sign up, sauce, send, repeat,” said the press release.
This promotion begs the question, how many sauce packets will it take to fill a box? And it raises others: Do you rinse the packets first? Exactly how many tacos and burritos do you need to consume in order to accumulate enough packets?