KFC, a Plano, Texas-based subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., announced a new global sustainability commitment that all plastic-based, consumer-facing packaging will be recoverable or reusable by 2025. The goal supports KFC's long-term plan to implement a more sustainable packaging strategy in its restaurants, and builds on progress already made in some markets to eliminate plastic packaging items.

"As a global brand that operates more than 22,000 restaurants in over 135 countries, KFC is in a position to have a real impact on how the industry approaches waste and packaging management overall," says Tony Lowings, chief executive officer of KFC. "With environmental sustainability as a core aspect of how we do business, this commitment represents a public acknowledgment of the obligation we have to address these serious issues."

To meet these goals, KFC developed a roadmap that includes partnering with major suppliers and franchisees globally to identify plastic alternatives in each market. The restaurant chain is working on several key initiatives related to achieving these goals, including conducting an audit of current systems with franchisees to identify plastic waste reduction opportunities, partnering with suppliers to identify sustainable packaging alternatives for items like straws, plastic bags, cutlery and lids and setting market-specific goals to reduce, re-use and recycle. KFC will support franchisees to define and implement their own sustainability agenda to address the unique needs of local markets and customers. Markets will also continue to have their own local sustainability goals that vary based on local market conditions and regulations.

KFC also committed to global packaging innovation by signing on as a supporting partner with NextGen Consortium, a multi-year, multi-industry global consortium that aims to advance the design, commercialization and recovery of food packaging alternatives. Through this partnership, KFC hopes to identify fiber packaging solutions that are recoverable across global infrastructures.