Environmental Leadership



SUBWAY® stores are best known for our commitment to providing freshly baked bread and ingredients to our customers. Behind the scenes, we have been working diligently to improve the sustainability of our products and operations. In fact, we are on a journey to make our stores and operations as environmentally and socially responsible as possible, and to help improve the health of the planet at the same time.

  • Globally, the plants and distribution centres that we use have been strategically located to significantly reduce transportation costs, fuel usage and carbon emissions. In the UK alone, we have cut road miles by over 400,000 per annum by adding new depots to the distribution network for food and produce, and bringing them closer to stores
  • Over the last few years, we have switched to more sustainable products and business practices that use less energy and resources and generate less waste. We are working on other initiatives – some highlights include:
    • Improved the sustainability of the packaging and paper products used in our stores; many items now contain recycled material and can be recycled – for example, our salad bowls and lids are made from 95% recycled Cola bottles!
    • Improved the energy efficiency of the equipment and lighting used in our stores
    • Low flow taps are a standard option in all new stores to help conserve water
    • Optimised packaging of ingredients which has removed at least 650 tonnes of cardboard from our waste stream each year
    • Cleaning chemicals (with the exception of the sanitizer and delimer) are non-toxic, non-corrosive and are biodegradable

Recycling your SUBWAY® packaging

The SUBWAY® chain is committed to recycling packaging where possible as it saves natural resources and helps to reduce global warming. SUBWAY® stores recycle their own packaging where they can, for example, cardboard and ingredient containers, but you can also do your bit to help the environment by recycling the food and drink packaging that you take away with you.
The following list indicates what you should and shouldn’t be able to recycle at home, from your workplace, school or via your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. To check, take a look at the ‘recycle-more’ website: www.recycle-more.co.uk. You can put in your post code and find out what recycling facilities exist near you and what materials they do and don’t take.

Widely recyclable

The following should be recyclable in most locations:

  • Plastic drink bottles – made of PET plastic and widely recycled
  • Metal drink cans – made of aluminium and widely recycled
  • Cardboard drink trays – these are widely recyclable with other cardboard
  • Paper cookie bags – these are just paper and can be recycled with other paper
  • Cardboard boxes for nachos – these are paper plus a plant based material (the clear window) and can be recycled with paper
  • Napkins – if these are reasonably clean, they can be recycled with other paper
  • Sugar, salt and pepper sachets – these are paper and (once emptied!) can be recycled with paper
  • Plastic Sub bags – these are made of HDPE and can generally be recycled at larger supermarkets along with carrier bags
  • Wooden stirrers – these can be recycled at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre with other wood or they can be composted in a home composting bin, or with some food waste collections from home or work. Check with your local authority or waste contractor
May or may not be recyclable

The following items may or may not be recyclable depending on the collection arrangements in place locally:

  • Plastic salad and soup bowls and lids – these are made of PET. The clear lid at least should be recyclable with clear plastic bottles. The black bowls may also be recyclable in some locations
  • Wraps and paper cups – these are mainly paper but they have a thin plastic polyethylene (PE) coating which makes them water proof
  • Cup lids and straws – these are made of polystyrene (PS) and polypropylene (PP) respectively
  • Plastic knives and forks – these are made of polystyrene (PS)
Not generally recyclable

The following items are generally not recyclable due to the fact that they use a mixture of materials, e.g. plastic and aluminium foil. This keeps the product fresh for longer, but the materials are hard to separate and recycle:

  • Crisp packets
  • Snack bar/chocolate wrappers
  • Sauce sachets