food containers toronto

Here's the latest way to recycle your black food containers in Toronto

Eating lots of takeout has left plenty of us in Toronto with black food delivery containers none of us know what to do with cluttering up our cupboards, but luckily a new solution seems poised to offer us a way to recycle the pesky plastic. 

Black plastic isn't accepted in Toronto municipal recycling bins, and the majority of plastic waste in Canada ends up in the landfill.

Case collects these specific types of black containers and redistributes them to restaurants and food kitchens where they're responsibly repurposed, and then at then end of their life they're taken to a recycler that will accept them.

Dropping off the containers is totally free, but you can pay a fee for a full service subscription on the app to order from partnered restaurants and select reusables as an additional menu item on delivery platforms.

When an order arrives, a QR code can be scanned to confirm receipt. Then, containers can be dropped off at drop sites or picked up by the service, and another QR code is scanned (at the bin or provided by the service) to confirm return. Not only is this activity saved in the app, it also helps you calculate carbon impact and waste saved.

Founder Catherine Marot got the idea for Case as something of a joke, but after seeing how good it made people feel to have her help them reduce their waste she thought there was something to it.

"I was working downtown Toronto in the PATH and bringing around my own container to restaurants," Marot tells blogTO. "As a bit of a joke, I started carrying containers around for my colleagues too. I saved 40 containers by doing this for one month."

Marot had intended to launch the service in the PATH before the pandemic hit. Instead, she spent months calling restaurants to hear their thoughts on takeout waste, climate change and recycling habits.

"A lot of people said they felt a personal burden for black plastic," says Marot.

From there, she built the Case app, onboarded her first few restaurants and released the app publicly this month. They've already repurposed over 300 containers, and their first participating restaurants are Sukhothai, Mad Radish and Luisa Burritos and Bowls.

"For sanitary concerns, I only provide them with the highest quality takeout containers and have to vet them all individually before and after running them through our commercial dishwasher," says Marot.

A collection bin is currently set up at the Organic Garage in the Junction. The bin has been so successful there that they're currently talking to additional grocery stores about hosting their own collection bins.

Restaurants and businesses are encouraged to get in touch with Case if they want to get involved. You can download the app on Google Play or from the App Store.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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