The principle is simple: you can buy a box for $7 in which the ready-made meal will be served. The container can then be reused in the same restaurant or at any other participating establishment. It is also possible to return it and get its deposit refunded.
It was the non-profit organization La Vague that envisioned this sustainable system, such as La Tasse, a project deployed to 400 institutions in the county in 2019 to reduce the use of disposable cups.
It made sense to go with the returnable chests for Get outthinks Audrey Laliberte, head of communications at La Vague, because in addition to Get outCurrently, it is experiencing very rapid growth.
Lotbinière is one of the regional district municipalities where 1,178 deposit boxes are currently being tested. Anthony Blanchett, who had set up his riverside chimney five years ago, decided to embark on the project.
Reducing waste is important to him, and it’s a common concern among many of his clients:
We noticed that about 2 years ago, people come here with their own utensils so we can put food in it.notes the restorer.
No waste in food banks either
The trend is not limited to cafes and restaurants: organizations have also decided to join the project. This is the case of Aide Alimentaire Lotbinière, which distributes food to nearly 180 families every two weeks. The containers will initially be used in cooking workshops and meal distribution.
However, setting up returnable chests is not without challenges.
Having to pay a $7 deposit may not be a lot for the majority of people, organization director Andrian LeBlanc identifies, but for those in a precarious situation, it’s a lot of money.
That is why Ms. LeBlanc is designing a system to meet the needs of Aide Alimentaire Lotbinière members while minimizing the use of single-use containers.
Pilot project under testing until summer 2022
La Vague provided participants with three types of boxes, glass, stainless steel or plastic. The seven participating institutions of Lotbinière now integrate containers into their daily routine at various levels, from communications to sales, including recovery and sanitation.
The goal in the coming months is to identify the needs on the ground to see if the boxes are suitable for different types of restaurants and establishments. Customer opinion is also important to ensure the feasibility of the project. The tests began last January and will continue until the summer of 2022.
For his part, Anthony Blanchett already has suggestions, like a box with compartments. He is optimistic about these efforts to reduce waste.
I think it can become a way of life. When you arrive at the restaurant with your reusable container, you may make your own BA for the day, so it can be Hazar!
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