Sustainable Packaging & Waste Reduction

At Yum!, we are committed to taking a more circular approach to sustainable packaging and waste, which starts with us first reducing, and then mindfully reusing or recycling, the waste generated at our restaurants. Reducing waste from packaging, as well as operational waste including cardboard, food and used cooking oil, are both Tier One material issues for our business. Our brands are working to develop packaging that can be diverted from landfills through recycling or composting, reducing food waste and donating surplus food to people in need, and recycling used cooking oil into biodiesel or energy.

At the Yum! corporate and brand levels, we have set a number of packaging and waste goals:


Remove Styrofoam and expanded polystyrene from packaging at all KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell locations globally


Purchase 100% of our paper-based packaging with fiber from responsibly managed forests and recycled sources by the end of 2022


Divert 50% of back-of-house operational waste, measured by weight, generated in our U.S. restaurants


KFC will make all plastic-based, consumer-facing packaging recoverable or reusable globally


Taco Bell will make all its consumer-facing packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable, eliminate any PFAS, phthalates and BPA from its packaging, and add recycling and/or composting bins to restaurants globally where infrastructure permits


Reduce food loss waste 50% by 2030 in accordance with U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions

Taco Bell continues to reduce the number of packaging items in its portfolio and to design packaging that uses fewer materials. The brand is collaborating with TerraCycle, a company that specializes in hard-to-recycle materials, to tackle recycling of its iconic hot sauce packets. The effort will be an industry first — no solution currently exists for recycling these packets, which are made of a flexible film.

KFC Australia has been a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organization (APCO) for more than 10 years. As part of its membership, the brand uses APCO’s online packaging evaluation tool to determine how to improve recyclability and manage packaging’s environmental impact, and also extended its partnership to support the Australian Recycling Label, a program endorsed by all Australian governments to help make recycling easier. The brand is also exploring waste reduction opportunities that go beyond packaging, including options for diverting organic waste for use as compost or animal feed.

We also continue to partner with the NextGen Consortium, a multiyear consortium that addresses single-use food packaging waste globally. As a supporting partner, we will continue to collaborate with other companies to help advance foodservice packaging solutions that are recoverable across global infrastructures. This partnership plays an important role in our overall sustainable packaging strategy by bringing forward innovative and enabling collaboration across the foodservice industry.

Additionally, we’re part of How2Recycle, the leading recycling labeling system in the U.S. and Canada. We’re leveraging How2Recycle’s standardized labeling system on our consumer-facing packaging to provide clear instructions on how to recycle more and recycle better.

At Yum!, we are committed to being a leader in the reduction of food waste. We are a member of the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, a group of organizations across the food value chain that have committed to reducing food loss and waste in their U.S. operations by 2030, as well as the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, the Waste & Resources Action Programme and the ReFED advisory council. Most of the food waste we divert is donated to nonprofits through the Harvest program. Through this program, Yum! and our franchisees have donated over 209 million pounds of food to more than 5,000 charity partners since 1992. Beyond food donation, our brands are exploring other innovative ways to reduce wasted food. KFC U.K. is piloting smart equipment that predicts customer traffic throughout the day, ensuring that no more food is prepared than necessary.