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The Latest in Sustainable Packaging Is Pizza Hut’s Round Pizza Box

Pizza Hut’s newest offering consists of an eco-friendly menu option and a sustainable way to take it home.

Sometimes, the best ideas are the ones that seem too simple to be true. Pizza Hut’s new sustainable pizza box falls into that category. In conjunction with a new, plant-based sausage pie offering, the chain has announced an innovative, round box design, meant to cut back on packaging through a lack of corners. Well, it makes sense.

Of course, plant-based offerings are nothing new. This year alone brands like Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat have revolutionized the quick service restaurant industry by partnering with some of the segment’s biggest franchise brands, including Carl’s Jr., Burger King, McDonald’s and more. As Millenials demand healthier and more eco-friendly food options, plant-based meat alternatives have exploded in popularity

Pizza Hut is leading the way when it comes to sustainable packaging. According to CNN, it took the brand two years to develop the new box, and Pizza Hut’s Chief Customer and Operations Officer called the container "the most innovative packaging we've rolled out to date."

The brand is not the first one to come up with the round pizza box idea. Apple released a rounded pizza box around college campuses in 2017. Still, Pizza Hut’s innovative design is not only better for the environment in that there’s less waste, but the packaging is made of sustainably harvested plant fiber and is industrially compostable. Less material also means it takes up less space on the shelves of Pizza Hut locations and is easier to assemble for employees.

The innovations don’t stop there. The box has ridges on the bottom exterior and grooves in the top, so multiples can lock together, meaning there’s no slipping during delivery or when you’re heading to your next pizza party. The packaging was designed in partnership with Zume, the Silicon Valley start-up company whose pizza-delivery innovations include pizza-assembling robots and trucks that bake your pizza. The new box design is currently only available in Phoenix, Arizona, but Pizza Hut is eager to roll it out nationwide soon.

So, while other franchisors are busy unveiling drone delivery and A.I. voice-recognition to stay ahead of the restaurant technology curve, maybe the future is as simple as a round pizza box.