Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Grubhub

Technology making reusable packaging scalable for university catering

Food & Drink

Topanga aims to make the reusable container market more transparent and accessible for students across US university campuses

Spotted: In 2019, the world generated a staggering 353 million tonnes of plastic waste, with 40 per cent of this being made up of packaging. Recyclable and biodegradable packaging is certainly better than the alternative, but increasingly, reusable, and refillable containers are being recognised as the most sustainable option. However, it can be tricky for businesses to know where to start when it comes to implementing and tracking reusable packaging initiatives. This is where Topanga comes in. 

Topanga’s software, in collaboration with Grubhub, is letting individuals who order to-go meals from university campus locations select reusable containers at checkout on the GrubHub app as part of the company’s ReusePass programme. Individuals essentially check out the containers from food venues and then return them to the business for sanitising and reuse, enabled by QR codes on the packaging that cashiers can scan with Topanga’s operator-facing ScanApp. To get involved, all customers need to do is set up a ReusePass account to receive their own account QR code, to which all their GrubHub orders will be linked. 

The Reuse-Pass programme works using Topanga’s ‘track and trace’ style software that keeps consumers and businesses up to date on things like the success of their reuse, the day-to-day logistics, and any actions they need to take. For instance, customers can track how many days until a container needs returning, and businesses can monitor the whereabouts of their packaging. 

Topanga also operates independently as well as with Grubhub, providing this service for businesses that are looking to be more conscious of their packaging waste and sustainability, using the same software. 

Springwise has also spotted other reusable and sustainable packaging alternatives, like one online grocer that delivers items with refillable containers or an online marketplace for sustainable packaging.

Written By: Archie Cox



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