Take-out containers and cups account for a large percentage of trash in the U.S. And according to the Energy Department, only 5% of plastic waste in the U.S. is recycled. During Covid, even more take-out containers were needed while restaurants were closed for in-person dining. More trash.
Although we would all like to use recyclable containers for our take-out orders, most of the time we don’t have that option. We don’t mean to cause excess trash, but it happens. Perhaps the solution to that problem is to encourage restaurants and cafes to place take-out orders into reusable containers that can be returned and used again, and again, and again.
This is the basis of Forever Wear – to provide recyclable containers to businesses for them to use with their customers. The restaurant is the point of contact and offers the containers to customers for a fully refundable deposit.
It works like this – restaurants and cafes pay a monthly fee to license Forever Ware software that in turn, allows the restaurant to checkout and track stainless steel containers and mugs. Customers pay a refundable fee to use containers that can be returned to the store, where they are then provided with clean, sanitized containers for their next order.
The restaurants benefit by saving thousands of dollars on disposable containers and decreasing landfill trash. The customer benefits from the clean healthy containers while also doing good and lowering their carbon footprint.
Sign up and do some good for the environment!
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: How much do they think their takeout food containers contribute to a trash problem?
- How would use a different system if it reduced waste?
- Show Forever Wear website: https://foreverware.org/
- Videos are available at: https://www.youtube.com/@foreverware9208
- Discuss organizational buying compared to consumer buying.
- Divide students into teams.
- Have half of the teams develop a marketing program directed at getting restaurants to sign up for Forever Wear.
- Have half of the teams develop a promotional campaign to convince customers to use the containers.
- Debrief the exercise.
Source: Williams, N. (9 November 2022). Putting a lid on takeout waste. Minneapolis Star Tribune.