SOURCE: The Bottle Box; Rubio's

The Bottle Box; Rubio's

The Bottle Box; Rubio's

April 19, 2010 14:51 ET

Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill® Is First Restaurant to Use Bottle Box™ Food Containers Made From 100 Percent Recycled Materials

California-Based Restaurant Chain Launches Green Initiatives in Time for 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

CARLSBAD, CA--(Marketwire - April 19, 2010) -  Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill® is the first restaurant chain in the country to use a new 100 percent recycled post-consumer PET Bottle Box container. In May, Rubio's will roll out a new Bottle Box™ salad bowl, which is the first custom-made product designed by Direct Pack, Inc. and manufactured by Global PET of Perris, California, using a true bottle-to-box recycling process. The collaboration is the first in the United States to turn 100 percent post-consumer recycled PET bottles into recyclable food grade containers.

The new packaging is just one part of a new comprehensive plan for eco-friendly practices that Rubio's will unveil in time for Earth Day, April 22. Other initiatives include:

  • The expansion of in-store recycling.
  • An environmentally-friendly design for new restaurants.
  • Eco-friendly packaging and printing.
  • The support of local green charities.
  • Beach clean-up projects.
  • A goal to be totally Styrofoam-free and to use only compostable, reusable, recycled and/or recyclable containers by the end of 2011.

"While Rubio's offers grilled chicken, steak and pork menu items, we're famous for our Baja-style fish tacos and other seafood specialties; so it's important for us to preserve a healthy ocean," said Ralph Rubio, chairman and co-founder of Rubio's. "We understand that of the 15 billion pounds of plastic produced each year in the U.S., about ten percent of it ends up in the sea. Rubio's sells approximately 460,000 water bottles a year, which could be recycled and used to make 115,000 Bottle Box salad bowls and lids, keeping them out of the ocean and saving approximately 37 cubic yards of landfill space."

Craig Snedden, president of Direct Pack, Inc., said, "More than 80 percent of households in the country have access to curbside or community drop-off recycling centers, and surveys show PET bottles have the highest recycling rates of any plastic bottle types. We encourage Californians and the rest of the country to recycle so that we can do our part for the environment. Producing new plastic products from recycled materials uses two-thirds less energy than producing plastics from new raw materials, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions as well."

Nadim Bahou, president of Global PET, adds, "The Bottle Box™ food packages are a culmination of over half a decade of work between us and the State of California's Department of Recycling. The California Department of Conservation supported our efforts through a grant which allowed us to bring this recycling process to life. And now, companies like Rubio's are enhancing their green initiatives by using it in all of their U.S. restaurants."

On Earth Day, Rubio's will launch a green Web page at www.rubios.com/socialresponsibility/environment to share its plans and progress in using recycled, compostable, reusable or FSC certified packaging and printed materials; recycling; offering sustainable and nutritious foods; community involvement; and specifics about Rubio's eco-friendly design elements in its new restaurants such as "smart lighting," the broad use of recycled materials, low VOC paints and energy and water-saving practices.

About Rubio's® Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ: RUBO)
Bold, distinctive, Baja-inspired food is the hallmark of Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill®. The first Rubio's was opened in 1983 in the Mission Bay community of San Diego by Ralph Rubio and his father, Ray Rubio. Rubio's is credited with introducing fish tacos to Southern California and starting a phenomenon that has spread coast to coast. In addition to chargrilled marinated chicken, lean carne asada steak, and slow-roasted pork carnitas, Rubio's menu features seafood items including grilled mahi mahi and shrimp. Guacamole and a variety of salsas and proprietary sauces are made from scratch daily, and Rubio's uses canola oil with zero grams Trans fat per serving. The menu includes tacos, burritos, salads and bowls, quesadillas, HealthMex® offerings which are lower in fat and calories, and domestic and imported beer in most locations. Each restaurant design is reminiscent of the relaxed, warm and inviting atmosphere of Baja California, a coastal state of Mexico. Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, Rubio's operates, licenses or franchises more than 195 restaurants in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. More information can be found at www.rubios.com

About The Bottle Box™
Sustainability, accessibility and beauty. The Bottle Box™ is the first ever product from the true bottle-to-box recycling process. The unique and innovative ECO-CHIC designs are made from 100% post consumer recycled PET bottles guaranteed. Direct Pack, Inc. and Global PET started their collaboration in 2009 to create, design, market, distribute and manufacture the Bottle Box™ food packages for the foodservice, food processing, supermarket/retailers and agricultural growers markets. The North American Bottle Box™ manufacturing takes place at the Global PET facility in Perris, CA. Visit us online at www.thebottlebox.com for more information and to get a glimpse of our unique and innovative Bottle Box™ food packages. You can also view our Bottle Box™ video at www.youtube.com/globalplastics. You can also learn more about Direct Pack, Inc. by visiting www.directpackinc.com and Global PET by visiting www.globalpetinc.com.

Contact Information