While single-use plastics and takeout containers have been demonized by environmental groups, a New York business has formed to make that packaging more sustainable by simply setting up a system to wash and reuse it.
Our sister paper Crain's New York Business has a story on Re:Dish, a startup that has a network of cafeterias, schools and businesses that use polypropylene packaging molded in Oregon. Re:Dish customers use the PP containers and have a spot to collect them when eaters are finished. Re:Dish has a commercial dishwashing facility in Brooklyn that cleans the containers that are then returned to be used again.
As business models go, a "wash and reuse" concept seems fairly straightforward, but of course many business and school cafeterias stripped out their own in-house dishwashing operations previously, just as they eliminated a lot of the actual kitchen staff in favor of food that simply has to be heated up. That creates an opening for a company like Re:Dish.