Introducing Case, the Canadian Brand Creating a Circular System for Takeout Containers
For many diners, using “biodegradable” or “compostable” takeout containers is one way of doing their part in protecting the planet. But such serviceware, made from plants including bamboo, corn, and sugarcane pulp, often don’t break down in a backyard composting bin and require special conditions to degrade. The Canadian company Case has a better solution: a circular system for food receptacles.
Catherine Marot founded Case last spring, after realizing that she and a colleague avoided dozens of throw-away parcels by packing lunches in their own boxes for a month. “It got me thinking: What if I was doing a real service, helping restaurants replace single-use containers as easily as they’d purchase them from a supplier?” says Marot, who spent the next year collecting feedback and developing the Case app. This week, the brand launched its first public-facing pilot, partnering with restaurants throughout Toronto to bring her idea to life. Now, when placing a delivery order at a participating business, customers can select Case’s reusable polypropylene containers from the menu. Once the food arrives, they scan a QR code on the bag to confirm the amount of containers; empty boxes are dropped off at designated return bins or returned to Case via its at-home pickup service, and are then washed, sanitized, and sent back to restaurants to be used again. The supply chain achieves a two-pronged goal: to eliminate waste from landfills, and to slow down the carbon-intensive production of takeout containers.
With plans to expand its service to other locations in the near future, Case is positioned to transform the way food is transported. “Takeout is more convenient than it’s ever been, and delivery platforms are going to continue to do what it takes to grow in market share,” Marot says, noting the scant evolution of the takeout container. “There has been zero [change] on the purchasing, distribution, and supply-chain side. This is where we see huge potential for the environment. Circular services have the ability to scale within a geography and positively impact an extremely traditional, linear industry.” May Case arrive in every city soon.