KFC Pledges to Eliminate Non-Reusable Plastic Containers by 2025, but ‘Leaves Giant Loophole;’ Company Makes Good on Antibiotics Commitment

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MEDIA CONTACT: Stefanie Spear, [email protected], 216-387-1609

KFC Pledges to Eliminate Non-Reusable Plastic Containers by 2025, but ‘Leaves Giant Loophole;’ Company Makes Good on Antibiotics Commitment

Oakland, CA —Jan. 24, 2019— KFC, part of Yum! Brands Inc., made two announcements today. One, committing to eliminating non-recoverable or non-reusable plastic packaging by 2025. The chicken chain says it will partner with suppliers and franchisees to identify plastic alternatives for straws, plastic bags, cutlery and lids, and support franchisees in their own efforts to reduce plastic waste while looking at its current system to find ways to be more eco-friendly.

KFC also announced that it has fulfilled its April 2017 pledge to end the use of medically important antibiotics in its U.S. chicken supply.

Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president of As You Sow, had this to say about KFC plastic pledge:

As You Sow has been in dialogue with KFC to develop a comprehensive policy on sustainable packaging making all packaging recyclable or compostable, and ensuring that on-site waste is collected and dealt with responsibly. Today’s announcement from KFC is a weak step in just one of those areas.

“By only committing to make materials recoverable or reusable, this policy leaves a giant loophole that some of these materials will be not be recycled but rather ‘recovered’ through incineration or waste-to-energy processes. We believe recycling should be identified clearly as a priority policy for post-consumer packaging. Waste-to-energy processes are not recycling and in our view not part of a circular economy approach.

“The company is also not committing to collect packaging from front of house in its restaurants. McDonald’s has made a stronger commitment to ensure that all packaging in its stores is recycled by 2025.”

Christy Spees, environmental health program manager of As You Sow, had this to say about KFC antibiotic use policy:

“We are happy to see that KFC has successfully implemented its commitment to eliminate the use of medically important antibiotics in its chicken supply chain. This keeps the brand in line with competitors and helps reduce the company’s impact on the major public health threat of antibiotic resistance.”

For more information on As You Sow’s work on ocean plastics, click here. For more information on As You Sow’s work on antibiotics, click here.

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As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. See our resolutions here.

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