Isn't it interesting how a simple change can lead to big gains in conserving resources? Such was the case recently when sandwich chain Subway began turning its efforts toward a healthier environment. With the help of thermoformer, PWP Industries (www.pwpindustries.com), Subway slimmed down its plastic salad bowls and lids from 10 to 9 in. dia, yet the new containers still hold the same 32-oz amount of salad. The container materials were also changed from OPS to PET resin, combined with 10-percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) content. The recycled content mainly consists of soda and water bottles that have been reclaimed, washed and recycled back into usable, FDA-compliant raw materials, PWP reports. Ira Maroofian, president and COO of PWP says: “The challenge was to provide a package that encompasses [the right] materials and dimensions and still creates an innovative product that communicates perceived premium value to the consumer eyes.” The new two-piece thermoformed bowl/lid combo reduces the amount of plastic material used annually by a whopping 711,780 lb, saving the equivalent of 5,488 barrels of oil annually and cutting the use of 19,540 corrugated shipping cases annually. This means that the package's carbon footprint is cut by 20.9 percent or by 84.8 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent per thousand containers produced. The redesign also achieved a dramatically different look with an added swirl design that trims the surface area versus the previous bowl's straight walls.