Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill plans to use a new 100 percent recycled post-consumer PET Bottle Box container as part of its new eco-friendly initiative. This month, Rubio's will roll out a new Bottle Box salad bowl, which is the first custom-made product designed by Direct Pack Inc. and manufactured by Global PET of Perris, Calif., using a bottle-to-box recycling process.
 
The collaboration is the first in the United States to turn 100 percent post-consumer recycled PET bottles into recyclable food grade containers.
 
The new packaging is just one part of a new comprehensive plan for eco-friendly practices that Rubio's has unveiled. Other initiatives include:
  • The expansion of in-store recycling.
  • An environmentally friendly design for new restaurants.
  • Eco-friendly packaging and printing.
  • The support of local green charities.
  • Beach clean-up projects.
  • A goal to be totally Styrofoam-free and to use only compostable, reusable, recycled and/or recyclable containers by the end of 2011.

"While Rubio's offers grilled chicken, steak and pork menu items, we're famous for our Baja-style fish tacos and other seafood specialties; so it's important for us to preserve a healthy ocean," said Ralph Rubio, chairman and co-founder of Rubio's. "We understand that of the 15 billion pounds of plastic produced each year in the U.S., about 10 percent of it ends up in the sea. Rubio's sells approximately 460,000 water bottles a year, which could be recycled and used to make 115,000 Bottle Box salad bowls and lids, keeping them out of the ocean and saving approximately 37 cubic yards of landfill space."

On Earth Day, Rubio's launched a green-minded website to share its plans and progress in using recycled, compostable, reusable or FSC certified packaging and printed materials; recycling; offering sustainable and nutritious foods; community involvement; and specifics about Rubio's eco-friendly design elements in its new restaurants.

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