Transitioning the definition of trash; turning plastic gloves into plastic bags

With a goal of diverting 50% of our restaurant waste from landfills by 2020, Chipotle conducted detailed waste audits to better understand our waste patterns. In doing so, the team learned that 95% of all gloves used in restaurants end up in a landfill.  As there was no known commercial recycling available for the gloves, we vowed to find a solution. Upon discovering the materials in the gloves were the same as the recycled trash bags used by the brand, Chipotle partnered with Revolution Bag in Salinas, California to start a pilot program turning plastic gloves into trash bags. What started as a pilot in eight restaurants across Portland is now expanding into 17 restaurants in Sacramento.

“If we truly want to be leaders in this space, we cannot just settle for the best available option. 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.” Caitlin Leibert, Director of Sustainability at Chipotle