Just Salad, a restaurant chain headquartered in New York, received recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency as a regional Waste Wise Award winner. Through its commitment to sustainability, Just Salad is on a mission to prove that small businesses can play a big role in waste reduction, said the company
The fast-casual restaurant is home to the largest restaurant reusable program in the world, says the company. Customers can purchase a signature blue, BPA-free reusable bowl for $1 at any of Just Salad’s 34 locations around the world. Every time a customer brings the reusable bowl into the store, he or she receives two free essential toppings or one free premium cheese topping.
Just Salad also offers a VIP program—the limited-edition black reusable bowl allows customers to skip the line any time in addition to earning free toppings. The program reportedly has eliminated more than 75,000 pounds of plastic waste every year.
Just Salad’s CEO Nick Kenner, told PlasticsToday that the bowls are molded from BPA-free polypropylene and are “manufactured well and made to last.” The bowls are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
While some states have restrictions on people bringing in dinnerware from outside the restaurant, Kenner responded to PlasticsToday’s question on this matter saying, “Our store locations have not encountered issues with people bringing in non-Just Salad reusable bowls into our restaurants. Regarding health and safety procedures, we are the only restaurant reusable program approved by the New York City Department of Health. The customer’s reusable bowl never directly touches our dressing stations. We keep the bowl on a specially designated plate to ensure we are compliant with food-handling and safety policies.”
Just Salad has the majority of its stores in New York, with other locations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Hong Kong and Dubai. The restaurants feature salads, soup, salad wraps and 21 different dressings.