Eco-to-Go premiered at Rendezvous in Fall 2013.
The pilot program was intended to evaluate a new container option and how effective a full-scale program might be using reusable take-out containers.
Why reusable containers?
Over 2,000 disposable containers are used on a daily basis in Rendezvous—many of which do not end up in the compost bins. Providing the option for guests to use a reusable container reduces how much waste is thrown away. In addition, the reusable container has lower environmental impacts throughout its entire lifecycle (raw material extraction, production, distribution, and disposal) compared to a compostable container. These containers are also sturdier than disposable containers, which means it is easier for you to take your meal on the go.
Are the containers safe?
The containers are made with polypropylene—100% non-toxic, BPA free plastic. This material is dishwasher safe, microwaveable, and can be used to contain both hot and cold foods safely.
How did the program work?
Each time participants visited Rendezvous the key tag or container was exchanged for a clean container. The key tag “reserves” the participant’s place in the system should one decide to return the container. One would never be in possession of a key tag and container at the same time.
Participants would bring the key tag to the check stand, mention they would like the food in the “Eco” container, and hand over the key tag. Food would be served in an Eco-to-Go container. After eating, there were two options:
Option 1: Keep the container until the next time they visited Rendezvous. The next time participants ordered, they would show the check stand the empty, used container, take the dirty container to the container return, and receive food in a clean container.
Option 2: Return the container immediately to the container return and ask for a key tag from the check stand. Turn in the key tag the next time and order is placed.
Questions or comments?
Sustainability Manager, UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services