The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to partner with REUSO to launch Dine Out with REUSO, a new initiative providing neighborhood restaurants and other businesses with reusable food and beverage containers to reduce waste production. REUSO utilizes cloud-based technology to provide containers that can be used over 1200 times, diverting thousands of single-use containers from the waste stream. Used containers are returned, commercially washed and redistributed to purveyors across the food and beverage ecosystem, similar to shared systems such as Redbox DVDs and Divvy bikes.
The initiative will launch this month at Andersonville’s Gadabout Restaurant and Swedish American Museum, coinciding with Plastic Free July. The neighborhood’s first outdoor return station will be available shortly in the Swedish Museum parking lot at the corner of Foster & Ashland. REUSO also introduced its reusable containers at this year’s Andersonville Midsommarfest street festival. The goal is to create a broader reuse model that can become the standard for other neighborhoods throughout Chicagoland and beyond.
REUSO’s reusable containers are considered green after just six reuses. By utilizing REUSO products, communities have the capability to divert thousands of kilograms of CO2, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save on electricity. The use of a single REUSO Reusable has the potential to divert over one thousand single use containers from a landfill.
Dine Out with REUSO comes on the heels of last year’s launch of Clark Street Composts, ACC’s partnership with WasteNot Compost, with more than 20 local restaurants, bars and other businesses committed to diverting their compostable waste away from landfills to be returned to the community as nutrient-rich soil.
REUSO Co-Founder Eva Bugg comments, “We chose Andersonville as our Chicago launching pad since it’s one of the City’s most sustainably minded neighborhoods and the Chamber has graciously welcomed us into the area. When my co-founder (and fiancé) and I learned that Chicago’s recycling rate is less than 9%, we knew change was needed and are ecstatic to launch our solution to this problem in a neighborhood that spearheads change.
How REUSO Works
Consumers can participate in Dine Out with REUSO by checking out REUSO products via a deposit, plus a $3 service fee to cover the cost of washing and maintaining the reusable packaging fleet. Consumers get their deposit back when the product are returned to a REUSO return station.
Once a REUSO product is checked out, consumers can request food for takeout in REUSO’s reusable containers – or use them to take home leftovers. Once finished, they can locate the nearest REUSO station and drop off the dirty containers. REUSO employees empty and commercially sanitize the used containers before distributing the freshly sanitized containers to participating businesses and festivals.
Businesses can join the cost-saving program by visiting REUSO. REUSO prides itself on its ability to cater to any industry that produces food packaging waste. Their experience includes stadiums, festivals, conferences, restaurants, airports, and more.
REUSO participated has also collaborated with Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium on their green initiatives, including “Let’s Shedd Plastic,” and a pilot program is underway in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. Most recently, REUSO products were used at the Chicago Venture Summit Future of Food 2022, with single use containers avoiding the landfill and diverting nearly 30,000 kg of C02 emissions.
ACC’s Director of Business Services and District Management David Oakes adds, “Dine Out with REUSO continues Andersonville’s strong record in sustainability, along with other initiatives including our recent partnership with Clark St. Composts. We hope to inspire other local businesses and communities to begin composting, launching reusable container systems such as REUSO, and implementing other sustainable practices.”
The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) fosters a vibrant environment in which Andersonville businesses can thrive by attracting a diverse customer base; providing business support services and advocacy; and engaging in business attraction, long-range planning, and economic development.
Come check out the REUSO website.
Photos: Delbert Su.