It’s going to be a big year for resusables.
As lawmakers make it easier for restaurants to handle reusable containers brought by guests, a growing number of companies are racing to create systems where durable, washable cups and containers replace the ubiquitous single-use disposables upon which takeout now relies.
These young players compare themselves to the bike-share companies that are becoming ingrained in urban culture. Essentially, these companies want reusables to become like library books of foodware — they can be used, returned, washed and used again hundreds of times — eliminating the need for cups and containers that may or may not be recycled or composted and often end up in the trash. It can also potentially save restaurants money, reducing the need to purchase disposables and cutting trash-hauling bills.
Restaurant operators are already up against mandates to reduce their packaging waste in cities like Berkeley, Calif., and such laws are expected to spread.
Here’s a look at five companies offering a solution:
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