Eckerd College, FL Reusable To-Go Container System

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Eckerd College, FL, US

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Type: Program

Status: Launched in July 2007

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In July of 2007 Eckerd College was awarded a grant from the Environmental Research and Education Foundation to pursue the production of a reusable to-go container and system. This project developed from an Introduction to Environmental Studies audit conducted in the fall of 2004.

What is Reusable To-go and Why Does it Work?
Each year millions of clamshell polystyrene (Styrofoam) disposable containers end up in a landfill. This issue can be solved by implementing a reusable to-go system. The reusable to-go system consists of a durable, dishwasher-safe, hinged lid container called the “EcoClamshell.” Students check out the container from the cafeteria and return it later where it is then sanitized and put back out for reuse.

The reusable to-go system is a new model for waste reduction. This closed loop system minimizes the production of to-go containers, uses a product that can be recycled at the end of its lifespan, and cuts down on the amount of plastic material entering the landfill. The “EcoClamshell” was created with all of these points in mind.

The system is also an opportunity to incorporate recycling education into daily life. As individuals use these containers in place of the disposable alternative, they learn that sustainable solutions do not necessarily entail inconvenience. The system works in exactly the same fashion as its disposable counterpart.

Environmental Benefits of Program

  • These containers are manufactured and shipped less frequently than disposables.
  • Fewer natural resources are used because of the longer lifespan (years instead of a day).
  • The waste generated by disposable containers is avoided.