Beyond Disposables: Eco-Clamshell Reusable To-Go Program
Project Background & Objectives
Each year millions of disposable to-go containers end up in landfills across the United States. Not only is this harmful to the environment, but the cost of disposing of these containers is tremendous. To resolve both of these issues, Eckerd College, located in Saint Petersburg, Florida, researched and developed a reusable to-go system and container. The report presents the principal findings of this study and the development of a unique container, called the Eco-Clamshell.
The purpose of this project was to develop a container prototype and reusable to-go system to be field tested at Eckerd College and then emulated by colleges and universities across the country. These goals have certainly been achieved. The Eco-Clamshells and reusable to-go program provide an innovative solution to disposable to-go container waste and minimize life cycle impact.
This project also started some initial investigation into a grocery store model, utilizing the least amount of packaging possible. It is fair to say that the majority of household waste comes from grocery store packaging—everything is individually packaged and wrapped. The same reusable model could be incorporated into a grocery store chain by utilizing specially designed kiosks for return. The model would be a deposit and rebate system, with bulk bins and specially designed, reusable containers. Just like the Eco-Clamshells, this model would reduce waste and save the consumer money.
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“New Reusable to-go containers help Dining grow greener.” January 11, 2010
“Takeout, eco-style.” Ashland Daily Tidings. 5 November 2009
“Wilfrid Laurier University Introduces Reusable Plastic Food Container.” Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. 5 October 2009
“To-Go Containers Keep Going”. Ed. Judy Stark. Saint Petersburg Times. 19 April 2008
“Eckerd College Switches to Reusable To-Go Containers”. Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. 10 April 2008.
Liberman, Melissa “Environmental caring in, carry out boxes”. Article. Channel 10 News. 7 April 2008.
“Eckerd College Introduces Sustainable EcoClamshell Container”. Tampa Bay Business Journal. 4 April 2008.