Offering reusable containers to customers is one of the easiest ways that food businesses can reduce the amount of waste they generate.
In the summer of 2021, Circular Philadelphia worked with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to update regulation language to allow restaurants and food businesses to offer reusable containers without seeking a variance to do so. The change eliminates a hurdle for small businesses that want to reduce waste, implement reusable systems and move towards a circular economy.
Along with reusable container expert ECHO Systems and the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability, we have developed resources for restaurants and food businesses to start offering reusables. These resources (available on the right of this page) include a quickstart guide for making the switch to reusables, FDA guidelines for proper washing and handling of reusable containers, an overview presentation on how (and why!) to make the switch, a link to Office of Sustainability’s Zero Waste Guide, and a list of further reading.
Additionally, Circular Philadelphia and the Office of Sustainability hosted a webinar for restaurants and food businesses that featured representatives from Philadelphia city government, Tiffin Indian Cuisine, and ECHO Systems to explain the requirements for offering reusables and best practices to ensure safety an success. You can watch that webinar below.