We take the “green” part of Green Chef seriously. Green Chef is constantly looking for new ways to minimize our impact on the environment and to be eco-friendlier than ever.
In celebration of Earth Day, we’re proud to announce our latest step toward shrinking our footprint: through more planet-friendly packaging.
By the numbers
If you’re a long-time Green Chef fan, you’ve already seen our packaging improve. Last year, Green Chef:
- Slimmed box size and weight
20% smaller, 21% less cardboard, 1 fewer ice pack needed (4 lbs. lighter)
- Upgraded to 100% plant-based jute insulation
Made of 85% recycled materials, 100% municipally compostable
- Switched to #5 plastic jars from #1 plastic jars
Reusable plastic containers, 10% overall reduction in plastic
But we knew we could do even better, especially when it comes to plastic. After careful research and collaboration with packaging manufacturers, we figured out how to reduce plastic by an additional 75%, that’s over 85% in total—go science! By reducing the total material use, we avoid the impact of producing the raw material (a major part of any inert product’s footprint).
How? With packets.
Why packets over jars?
Our new packets use far less raw plastic than jars (as much as 85% less), yet they’re just as durable and versatile. How durable? They’ve been rigorously tested to ensure that they don’t break or leak during shipment. We even stood on top of full packets with nary a break (among other more scientific tests).
Achieving the same function as jars but with less raw material is good for the environment.
By replacing some of our #5 plastic jars with food-safe #4 plastic film packets, we can reduce plastic use by as much as 27,000 pounds per quarter. Avoiding the CO2 emissions that would be created by manufacturing that much plastic is equal to planting over 1,450 trees.
Another way to look at it: For every jar we replace with a packet, we save 1.5 water bottles’ worth of plastic on average.*
(*These estimations are based solely on weight. The referenced jars, packets, and water bottles are made of different types of plastics.)
Not every Green Chef customer will see packets right away, but you may soon find some sauces, dressings, and spice mixes in packets instead of jars. As an added bonus, the packets take up less space in your fridge.
But wait, I love reusing Green Chef jars!
Don’t worry, we do too. Not every single jar will be replaced by a packet. Some ingredients will always ship better and stay fresher when in jars.
How do I recycle them?
Just like our plastic bags, each packet is made of fully recyclable #4 plastic film. But wait! Do not put it in your curbside recycling bin. Plastic film will literally gum up the works at your local recycling facility. It has to travel an entirely different, separate path to be recycled.
You may have done this before: Tossed a medley of plastic containers in the same bin, hoping that someone, somewhere would eventually put them in their proper places. This is called “wishful recycling” and it won’t help out the planet.
Fortunately, it’s easy to recycle #4 plastic film the right way! Most big-box stores and grocery stores are drop-off locations for all kinds of plastic films. And we all go to grocery stores every once in a while (because Green Chef doesn’t deliver cookies, sadly). Visit earth911.com to find your nearest drop-off recycling location.
Here’s all you have to do to recycle #4 plastic film from Green Chef:
4 Steps to Recycle #4
- Clean: Make sure it’s empty and clean (it doesn’t have to be perfect).
Tip: Flip the bag inside out and wipe it clean with a sponge if rinsing doesn’t do the trick.
- Dry: Let it dry (if wet).
- Cut: Cut off the colored Green Chef sticker labeling the ingredient.
Tip: Fold over the bag or packet so that the sticker is folded in half. Then, use scissors to
cut around the sticker and remove it.
- Drop Off: Drop it off at your nearest recycling location.
If you can’t get the plastic empty, clean, and dry, throw it out. Sometimes there may be stubborn food residue, and plastic that has been in direct contact with fish, meat, or animal products should not be recycled.
What’s the best way to use packets when cooking?
To open the packet, use sharp scissors to cut a corner and then squeeze out the contents. Tip: A bottom corner will give you the cleanest cut, but any corner is fine.
If a sauce or dressing is used for multiple steps in one recipe, we recommend placing the cut packet in a cup to keep it upright between uses.
For more information about our packaging and how to reuse, recycle, or compost materials, go here. You can also read up on how we offset 100% of our carbon emissions from operations, including shipment of every single box, thanks to our eco-friendly initiatives with TerraPass.
Happy Earth Day, from Green Chef!
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