As food takeout and delivery businesses continue to boom during COVID-19, one question remains—what about all that pesky packaging?
A Vancouver company is hoping to help, thanks to a zero-waste solution.
The service will be available at Vancouver House's Fresh St. Market starting Oct. 18.
So how does it work?
Reusables.com supplies restaurants and food businesses with stainless steel reusable containers that customers can select as a sustainable alternative to single-use packaging. Businesses pay a usage fee for each container, while customers download the app and pay a $5 monthly fee to participate.
The containers are delivered to a participating business and used for various takeout and delivery orders; they are then returned, sanitized, and reused. Customers can return their clean containers within 14 days to any participating location in the city. The app also enables users to track the volume of waste they’ve helped divert from landfills.
Co-founder Jason Hawkins hopes the platform will continue expanding.
"We'd like to scale our business around the world. We think this is a global problem and we believe that it's up to private businesses to come up with the solutions that will be in place in a timely manner so people can adopt them faster."
In 2018, 1.1 billion single-use items were disposed of in Metro Vancouver, working out to roughly 440 items per person.
The City of Vancouver is mandating businesses reduce or eliminate single-use items or charge a fee for reusable and recyclable items by early next year, as part of an initiative to become a zero-waste community by 2040.