Potbelly packages our food as simply and waste-consciously as possible; that's why we avoid
things like clamshells, styrofoam or metallic wrappers. Instead, we primarily use kraft paper products, which are compostable and recyclable, or recyclable plastic #1, #2, #5, or #6.
Our iconic brown pint sandwich bag is made from 100% post-consumer recycled material, saving 56 tons of virgin pulp, 945 pounds of CO2 emissions, and 175 gallons of diesel fuel each year. Napkins are made from 100% recycled material. Potbelly napkin dispensers in all our shops help reduce napkin waste up to 20%!
All our shops utilize compact fluorescent lamps, and we have a bulb recycling program to ensure old bulbs are recycled responsibly. The switch to compact fluorescent lamps reduces our electricity consumption up to 20%!
We are working closely with our suppliers and distribution centers to find ways to make our delivery system more efficient. This means fewer trucks on the road, fewer miles driven and a lot less fuel used (not to mention less pollution).
Nearly every cleaning chemical we use, from dish soap to floor cleaner to glass cleaner, carries the EPA's Designed for the Environment (DFE) designation. We say "nearly" because there are currently no sanitizers designated DFE.
These products are both greener and more effective. They smell better, clean better, last longer and are even preferred by the folks working in our shops.
In Our New Shops
- All new stores use paint that is low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which helps reduce indoor air contaminants. We are also testing VOC Free paints in some locations.
- Every new Potbelly uses energy efficient compact fluorescent lamp bulbs.
- We use plumbing fixtures that reduce the amount of water used in the store, including using low-flow toilets and faucets that automatically turn on and off. We also use tank-less water heaters when we can.
- Whenever possible, we reuse a building's existing wood floors, brick walls, tin ceilings and other architectural elements. It's a nod to the building's history and a part of the charm of our stores, but it's also less wasteful and better for the environment.