As sustainable travel is on the rise, businesses like Minneapolis’ Forever Ware are on the forefront with sustainable practices.

Twin Cities Business reported on Forever Ware’s use of reusable takeout containers. Software engineers Nolan Singroy and Natasha Gaffer sell the reusable to go containers to local coffee shops and restaurants in the Twin Cities and more.

Singroy originally got the idea back in 2020 after visiting a sick relative in Guyana and seeing all the disposable plastic containers washed up on shore.

How Forever Ware Works

For a refundable $5 deposit, customers get a stainless steel cup or container when they order. Once finished, they scan the product and take it back to a participating restaurant. A digital tracker follows the product around, and the deposit comes back to the customer after it’s returned.

At that, the products don’t have to be returned to the original restaurant, either.

“Our distributed asset tracking network is what makes that possible,” said Gaffer. “All customers go into one database, and they can use those products at any business in the network.”

As of now, 18 starter kits have gone out to Minneapolis, Chicago, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire.

In thoughts of “training” the public to return their takeout containers, Forever Ware says the decision is as much financial as it is environmental. Besides reducing waste, business owners save money on takeout products, as well.

Spoken Café in Chicago opted to replace all of their cups with Forever Ware. The business owner expects to save $9,000 a year on cups.

While Forever Ware is not the only company focusing on reusable takeout containers, ease of use can set this company apart. Customers don’t need to install a separate app and only require the small deposit.

Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz signed a bill banning PFAS (or “forever chemicals”) in several types of food packaging. The ban goes into effect on January 1, 2024. From there, business owners will have to look for alternative solutions, and Forever Ware could be their perfect choice.

What do you think of reusable takeout containers? Would you remember to return them to a restaurant? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments!