Three billion cardboard pizza boxes are thrown away in the U.S. every year, according to Good News Reuse, a Marin, Calif.-based startup that aims to replace single-use, disposable service ware in the food and beverage industry with reusable products.
The company has designed a reusable pizza box that it hopes will solve the challenge of pizza box recycling: While the corrugated cardboard boxes are recyclable, in and of themselves, grease and oil from the pizza pie soils the cardboard, damaging the paper fibers so the box can’t be recycled.
Good News Reuse’s new Pi Pan is made of lightweight, commercial food-grade stainless steel that is free of BPA – the kind used to make stainless steel reusable water bottles. Stainless steel not only offers environmental benefits – the pizza pan can be reused over 1,000 times and can be recycled at the end of its useful life – but it also keeps the pizza hotter and crispier than a cardboard box would.
The startup initially plans to roll out the reusable pizza boxes to food service companies that make regular deliveries to schools and businesses: Pizzas would be dropped off in the Pi Pan, and then the pans would be picked up during the next day’s delivery.
Good News Reuse just ended a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo to help pay for the production of more sample Pi Pans to give out to potential commercial customers and complete the product’s patent filing.
The Pi Pan will eventually be made available to individual consumers who can use the pan to reheat and serve pizza, as well as to bring pizza home from the local pizzeria – just like using a reusable shopping bag at the grocery store.
Homepage image: Flickr/crabchick