- While the restaurant chain lacks a formal safer chemicals policy, Chipotle has taken action to address PFAS and BPA in its packaging, and has made some efforts to reduce the use of plastics of environmental health concern (PEHCs), moving from polystyrene to polypropylene cutlery, and piloting the replacement of vinyl gloves. The chain has committed to eliminating PFAS from its packaging by the end of 2020, although it is unclear if it was successful other than in plant fiber-based products.
- Despite substantial public attention to toxic indirect food additives such as phthalates, there is no indication that Chipotle is taking substantial action to address these challenges.
Recommendations for Chipotle
- Chipotle can make progress by developing a public written safer chemicals policy covering any toxic indirect food additives that may be in food contact materials, including phthalates.
- We urge the company to set public quantifiable goals with clear timelines to eliminate and safely replace both PEHCs in its packaging and any toxic indirect food additives that may be in food contact materials. Chipotle should also publicly disclose the alternatives used to replace CHCs or PEHCs after eliminating them.
- The company should become a signatory to the Chemical Footprint Project and pilot it with key private label suppliers.
How does Chipotle compare to its competitors?
Analysis of Chipotle
Policy:Adopted a retailer safer chemicals policy
Oversight: Established management responsibilities and incentives
Accountability: Ensures supply chain accountability
Disclosure: Requires suppliers to report use of chemicals in products to retailer
Action: Reduced or eliminated chemicals of high concern (CHCs) or plastics of environmental health concern (PEHCs) within the last three years
Safer Alternatives: Evaluates safer alternatives, avoids regrettable substitutes
Transparency: Demonstrates a commitment to transparency and public disclosure
Chemical Footprint: Evaluates its chemical footprint
Third-party Standards: Promotes credible third-party standards for safer products
Joint Announcement: Public commitment demonstrated through joint announcement
Continuous Improvement: Shows continuous improvement by steadily expanding safer chemicals policy
Collaboration: Actively participates in collaborative process to promote safer chemicals
Impact Investment: Investing financial resources into independent research into safer alternatives and/or green chemistry solutions