Burgerville beefs up environmental effort

Burgerville employee holding new packagingBurgerville and ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston have partnered on a new packaging bag that will prevent nearly 25,000 pounds of trash from reaching landfills each year. The 100-percent recyclable bag is now being used when Lamb Weston ships french fries to all 38 Burgerville restaurants.

“Burgerville has long been committed to diverting trash from landfills,” said Jeff Harvey, Burgerville president and CEO in a press release. “Our recycling and compost program, including recycling of cooking oil into biodiesel, all support this commitment. When we learned french fry packaging accounted for a large amount of our trash, we wanted to find a way to become more environmentally friendly.”

To make the bags 100-percent recyclable, Lamb Weston replaced the polyethylene coating on the inside of bags with a coating made from a water-based material that can be re-pulped and turned into new paper products.

Currently, Burgerville is the only restaurant using the eco-friendly french fry bags, according to Jack Graves, Burgerville’s chief cultural officer. However, Graves predicted they will one day become an industry standard.

“It may not seem like a big deal now, but think of how many people eat french fries each day,” said Graves. “I think we will look back in a few years and realize this was the start of something big.”

Burgerville and ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston estimate that for every 1,000 cases of french fries, 6,000 bags (equivalent to 380 pounds of waste) will be diverted from landfills. On average, Burgerville uses 66,000 cases of french fries annually, eliminating 25,000 pounds of waste with the new bag.