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Returnable and reusable container system for food takeaway in Cambridge
The market for takeaway food delivery has grown dramatically in recent decades, leading to increased waste generation, pollution, and elevated carbon footprints, partly related to using disposable food containers. One study has estimated that a staggering 2 billion single-use takeaway containers are used every year in the European Union alone. Meanwhile, the recent ‘Single Out’ campaign estimated that around 10 tonnes of takeaway containers were disposed of from the University of Cambridge annually.
Our response to COVID-19 has further exacerbated the scale of waste generation - Darwin College and Girton College alone being responsible for the disposal of over 6700 single-use containers monthly during the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, these numbers were around 100 containers monthly. The pandemic has created huge problems in waste management - collection and processing for disposable/compostable containers. Girton & Darwin catering teams have collaborated with RE-USE, an innovative system for reusable takeaway containers, with an aim to not only tackle waste generation and pollution, but also provide tangible benefits to staff and students in Cambridge Colleges.
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