These startups offer alternatives to single-use plastics

Startups are helping restaurants and food companies move away from single-use plastics.

Waste recycling and environmental protection concept

Between 4.8m and 12.7m metric tons of plastic winds up in the ocean every year.

Much of this waste comes from single-use plastics, like disposable straws, food containers, and grocery bags — which is why some startups are rethinking how we do takeout and delivery.

In France, most employers…

…are required to provide employees with either an on-site subsidized canteen or meal vouchers for lunch.

Pyxo has raised $7m+ to provide sustainable containers for canteen startups — like Foodles and Popchef — and restaurants, per TechCrunch.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Food companies and restaurants purchase containers from Pyxo
  2. Containers are tracked with QR codes and near-field communication (NFC) chips
  3. Cleaning companies pick up dirty containers and drop off fresh ones

Customers who get takeout in Pyxo’s containers can use an app to find nearby drop-off spots. Pyxo may soon offer rewards to incentivize this behavior.

Who else is in this game?

DeliverZero is a delivery startup that serves ~135 restaurants in NYC. Customers order food online, and restaurants pack it up in DeliverZero’s reusable containers.

Customers can return containers to the courier the next time they order takeout or to any DeliverZero restaurant, but are charged $3.25 per unreturned container.

Dispatch Goods in San Francisco has placed its stainless steel containers in ~50 restaurants, per The Guardian. Customers receive delivery orders in the tins, then Dispatch Goods picks them up later.

BTW: If you’ve ever wondered how to get plastic out of the ocean (other than not putting it in there in the 1st place), check out these machines.

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