Most of us need to look no further than our own trash cans to realize that our take-out and food delivery habits are generating A LOT of packaging waste. And despite the ebbing pandemic that fueled the trend, it’s not expected to slow down any time soon; the food delivery industry is projected to continue to grow at a fast clip, topping $43 billion in the U.S. by 2025.
But is creating trash every time we order a take-out meal inevitable? Not for Boulder diners who sign up for the Repeater reusable container program, a take-out container service that partners with restaurants to provide diners with a reusable container option for takeout and delivery while saving restaurants in excess of 25% over disposable packaging costs.
In 2021, the City of Boulder issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) in search of a partnership that would help the community achieve its goal of reusable options in 50% of restaurants by 2025. The search was supported by the Sustainability Matching Grant fund provided by Boulder County and the City of Boulder. Proposers were asked to design a program that enables local businesses to offer their customers a zero-waste take-out dining experience. Repeater, an app-based service that connects sustainably-minded consumers with local restaurants offering reusables, was selected.
The city’s seed funding has helped Repeater establish infrastructure in the market by providing capital for containers and return lockers. Launched in fall 2021, the program has enrolled 16 local restaurants so far and has a goal of reaching 30 participating restaurants by year-end.
By choosing Repeater reusables, diners and restaurants work together to fight waste and build a more sustainable, circular economy. The program has already prevented more than 2,500 single-use containers!
Ready to try it out? It’s easy:
- Download the Repeater app or visit their website and create an account for free
- Search for participating restaurants in the “Find a Repeatery” tab
- Place an order for pickup or delivery at a participating Repeater restaurant, and request Repeater reusables. Users are charged by container; the largest container costs $0.75
- Receive your food in reusable containers.
- Return your empty reusables to Repeater to be sanitized and reused. Diners can drop off empty containers at a variety of return bin locations around town or arrange to have them picked up from their home. These can be searched on the app as well.
New users automatically receive a $3.00 credit when they register, typically enough to cover two or three meals. Boulder users can also earn $1 in credits by contacting their favorite restaurant and asking them to join the program. And Boulder residents can refer a friend with their referral code and both will get $4 in Repeater credits! For more information, visit www.eatrepeater.com.