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"Recirclable" program allows Massachusetts restaurant customers to borrow takeout containers

"Recirclable" allows restaurant customers to borrow takeout containers
"Recirclable" allows restaurant customers to borrow takeout containers 02:18

ARLINGTON – Making Boston greater by cutting down on waste, a local program allows customers to borrow takeout containers.

For Recirlclable's founders, a shift in mindset happened during the COVID pandemic.

"I think usually in a normal habit, there is just a little bit of waste which goes out in the waste line but during the pandemic it just piles up," Recirclable cofounder Ulrike Mueller said.

"These containers that we started with come out of the Netherlands and they are used by programs in Germany and these ones are local and they have been tested to 1,000 uses," cofounder Margie Bell added.

Recirclable is using reusable containers in different restaurants and cafes to help cutdown plastic container waste.

"I think we were really happy to see the interest and we continually see that. I think when we mention it to someone, there's a nodding of the heads, saying what a great idea," Bell said.

So this is how it works. Customers sign up for the program for free and when they frequent an establishment that uses Recirclables, they can use the app to ask for a reusable container.

"I'm borrowing one bowl.  That's it. Very simple and then I will get a notification when to return my bowl," Mueller said, demonstrating the app.

Roasted Granola Cafe in Arlington was the first to sign up, and they are seeing the benefits

"They are so happy, I mean will come in and get a scone and they will use a Recirclable to instead of a paper bag.  It's such an easy system," café owner Emily Patel said.

"For restaurants that make the effort, they definitely gain some customers who are following this idea," Bell said.

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