Caroline Vanderlip, CEO of Re:Dish, joins the conversation to discuss making cafeteria, institutional, and restaurant food service sustainable. Re:Dish provides reusable food service items, collecting, returning them to a dishwashing facility each day, and delivering a fresh supply to its customers, which include corporate and school cafeterias and hospitals. Re:Dish offers several #5 plastic (polypropylene) clamshell and round meal containers that are rented on a per-use basis to institutional customers. These containers do not include the PFAS used to prevent leakage in many compostable food service products. Customers are provided with informational guides for diners and branded collection containers that Re:Dish empties each day.
Re:Dish claims that a company cafeteria that reuses an average of 500 containers instead of molded pulp single-user containers every business day for a year can prevent 125,000 items from going to a landfill and that it will use 67% less water and produce 77% fewer Scope 3 emissions, those produced from sourcing, making, and shipping the single-use containers. The company has also declared its own zero-waste goal, which it wants to achieve by next year, 2023 — they currently divert 76% of the waste in its facilities from landfills. You can learn more about Re:Dish at redish.com.
Editor’s note: During the interview, at 4 minutes and 24 seconds, Caroline misspoke, saying that 1 million food service products are used annually; the correct figure is 1 trillion.