Reusables.com, Zero-Waste Packaging For Takeout, Adds First Grocery Retail Partner To Platform
After successful launch with Vancouver-based restaurants, Reusables.com expands into zero-waste packaging for grocery at Fresh St. Market, Vancouver House Location
Reusables.com, the container-sharing platform for zero-waste takeout, announced a partnership with Georgia Main Food Group (formerly HY Louie) to utilize the service at the Vancouver House location of Fresh St. Market. This follows closely on the heels of a successful launch with well-known Vancouver restaurants including MeeT in Gastown, Bandidas Taqueria, Autostrada, JamJar Canteen, Kula Kitchen, Tartine Bread & Pies, True Confections, Dosanko Japanese and Field & Social. The service will be available at Fresh St. Market, Vancouver House starting on October 18th.
Reusables.com supplies restaurants and food businesses with reusable containers that customers can select as a more sustainable alternative to single-use packaging. Food businesses pay a container usage fee that is more cost effective than most compostable packaging, creating a circular economy container sharing system. The aesthetically-pleasing stainless steel containers are delivered to the business, used when packaging meals for a participating customer’s takeout or food delivery order, returned, sanitized and reused thousands of times. Through its proprietary app, the Reusables.com team is able to track containers, manage returns, ensure each container is cleaned to the highest standard and entered back into the rotation. The app gives users’ the ability to track the volume of waste they’ve helped divert from landfills. Currently, the service is available in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island through the organization’s first SaaS licensed operator.
Customers get their first 30 days free when downloading the app and then pay a $5.00 monthly fee to participate. To get Reusables.com, they make a note in their takeout order, either through delivery apps or directly with the participating partner, that they’re a Reusables.com member. Once done with their container, the member rinses it and returns it to a participating location where the container QR code is scanned using the app. The expansion in the Fresh St. Market, Vancouver House location will allow new and existing customers to take home their deli, bakery, butcher, cafe and dessert items in Reusables.com containers, straight from the store where the containers can be returned once done.
Reusables.com is founded by Jason Hawkins and Anastasia Kiku, who identified a market opportunity to remove single-use packaging in takeout. “We were thrilled to see many zero-waste grocery delivery and home goods services open up but saw there was still so much waste occurring in takeout and food delivery. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a 300% increase in the amount of waste produced,” said Anastasia Kiku, Reusables.com Co-Founder. “It’s really challenging for businesses to create a closed-loop, reusable container service within their own business, because of costs, shrinkage and the time required to do so.”
“Sustainability in all facets of our business is a very important mandate for us,” said Mark McCurdy, V.P. Retail Operations & Brand Strategy, Georgia Main Food Group. “We’re thrilled to bring Reusables.com on board to Fresh St. Market, Vancouver House location so our customers can enjoy the delicious items from our cafe, grocery, bakery and more without worrying that they’re contributing to plastic waste entering our ecosystem.”
Continued Kiku, “The reusable, circular economy is common in other countries. After hearing stories of food scarcity in Russia where I grew up, and studying how Scandinavian countries approached circular economies, we saw a huge opportunity to implement a system like this in Vancouver and beyond. This efficient circular economy model allows members to support their local restaurants in a sustainable way without creating more packaging waste.”
“The circular economy is nothing new. You see it in India, and many countries around the world,” said Jason Hawkins, Reusables.com Co-Founder. “It’s a way of keeping resources in the loop, focusing on using a single resource as long as possible without it losing any of its value. Our innovative stainless steel containers can be used and sanitized thousands of times without breaking down.”
The team at Reusables.com have a jump on several municipal waste reduction or elimination goals. By early 2022, The City of Vancouver has mandated that businesses reduce or eliminate their use of single-use items or charge a fee on reusable and recyclable items. This is a part of its larger initiative to work toward a zero-waste Vancouver by 2040. Currently, many compostable containers are restricted from entering mainstream composting systems.
Reusables.com is in its seed round of fundraising and has received private funding as well as funding through the Vancity enviroFund™ Program. They were also accepted into Foresight Canada’s Deliver program, which brings together innovators, industry, investors, government, and academia to address today’s most urgent climate issues and support a global transition to a green economy. Jason and Anastasia are also a part of Ryan Holmes’ League of Innovators.
“This switch to a circular and zero-waste economy is fast approaching,” continued Hawkins. “We’re thrilled to be working on the technology and logistics required to get us there.”
Adds McCurdy, “for Fresh St. Market, the October 18 launch of Reusables at our Vancouver House location is an exciting time as we collectively continue to look at our own environmental impact within our consumer habits.”
About Fresh St. Market
Family-owned, operated and based in British Columbia, Fresh St. Market offers a public market food and shopping experience inspired by top markets and eateries in North America. Inside its six locations, customers will find a wide variety of locally sourced foods, fresh produce, a significant amount of organic foods, specially curated foods and uniquely dedicated food destinations within the store. Current locations include Marine Drive, West Vancouver, two Surrey locations in Fleetwood Village and Panorama Village, Whistler Village North, Vancouver House at Howe and Pacific and its newest store is in Kamloops. Additional Fresh St. Market stores are being planned in more B.C. communities with more announcements in the near future.
Reusables.com is the solution to the immense waste problem created in restaurant, cafe and grocery take out. Enjoy your meal in a stainless steel container that can be used, returned, sanitized and reused thousands of times, before being completely recycled. Becoming a member lets you enjoy takeout from participating locations as much as you like, without contributing to packaging waste. Containers and returns are managed through a user-friendly app. Feel good about your takeout order and learn more at Reusables.com or join the community on Instagram.
Media release and images provided by Cynnamon Schreinert, Hartley PR.