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Paris restaurants offer food delivery in barePack's reusable containers

As food delivery continues its manic growth, so does the amount of single-use packaging that moves from restaurants to consumers to waste streams. Since most people are unlikely to stop ordering food out of environmental concerns, restaurants and delivery companies need to come up with a solution. In Paris, Deliveroo is partnering with barePack to offer zero waste delivery, and 60 restaurants have signed up so far.

How it works: customers sign up with barePack, which offers subscriptions of EUR 2 per month or EUR 19 per year. For that fee, they can keep up to five containers at any given time. When ordering through Deliveroo, they select the reusable option at checkout. After use, the square, standard-sized containers can be returned to any participating restaurant, where they're washed and reused for another delivery.

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Restaurants and delivery apps are experimenting with reusable packaging in other parts of the world, too. But in France, they're doing so at the behest of the Ministry of Ecology. In February, nineteen industry players signed a charter with the ambitious goal of making 50% of packaging free of single-use plastics by early 2022, and 70% by early 2023. 

Whether you're in the food industry or otherwise responsible for bringing plastic into the world, now's the time to figure out how to do the right thing before legislation forces you.

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The system is entirely free for restaurants to use — all they need to do is wash returned containers — and barePack estimates they'll save EUR 0.30 to EUR 0.50 on packaging per order. barePack was founded in Singapore and started working with Deliveroo in its home country last August. In France, the service is also offered by  delivery apps Eatic and RestoParis, bringing the total number of participating restaurants to over 100.

While barePack's zero-waste option isn't frictionless for consumers — they need to subscribe, pick restaurants that use it and return containers — those concerned about plastic pollution and seeking alternatives can surely be nudged to put in the effort.