The Eco Container program, reusable eco-takeout food containers are located in the H-Wing Marketplace at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. Instead of disposing of Styrofoam containers after every meal students can now receive a reusable “clamshell” to-go container essentially for free. Students become a part of the program by purchasing a $5.00 plastic, barcoded card and will receive a loyalty card with an offer of a $0.50 discount on each of their next ten purchases (a total of $5.00 over ten individual purchases of an entrée in the Marketplace with an eco-takeout container). The container avoids spills and mess from pasta sauce for example and is both microwaveable and dishwasher safe, so you can reheat leftover food. Here are four simple steps to using your eco-take-out container:
- Get it: Become part of the program by purchasing a $5.00 deposit token and receive a loyalty card that will provide you with a discount of $0.50 on each of your next ten purchases.
- Use it: Pick up your eco container when ordering your meal. Hand your deposit card to the cashier when making your purchase, and have your loyalty card ready to receive your $0.50 discount.
- Return it: Once you are done with your meal, bring the container back to a food station and return it to a server to be dishwasher cleaned, and get back a deposit card in exchange.
- Repeat: Keep the deposit card for your next visit to the H-Wing marketplace.
If the container or deposit token card is lost, students will have to purchase a new container, which will come with a new loyalty card as well. However, the loyalty card can be shared amongst different users, since the cards are not coded to a specific person. For now, the program is designed only for the H-Wing marketplace and depending on its success it may spread across the campus. Plus, the container is fully recyclable, so in case it breaks you won’t have to throw it away either. So the next time you head off into the H-Wing, think eco-friendly.
This initiative allows students to be mindful of the waste that is produced within their daily lives. It provides an opportunity for students to be reducing their carbon footprint significantly. Furthermore, this service mainly reflects the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #12 (responsible consumption and production), #13 (climate action), #14 (life below water) and #15 (life on land).