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Company started by UW grads making takeout more environmentally friendly

By offering reusable containers
A Friendlier Company
Jacquie Hutchings (left) and Kayli Dale

With no dine-in service allowed right now due to the provincial COVID-19 restrictions, takeout has become a lifeline for restaurants.

A Guelph-based company is looking to reduce the environmental impact through its service, which offers reusable containers to restaurants and other establishments that sell food.

A Friendlier Company was launched in October 2020 by two recent Chemical Engineering graduates from the University of Waterloo - Kayli Dale and Jacquie Hutchings.

Dale tells the increase in takeout during the pandemic is why they decided to start their reuse program, "Takeout has become super important for restaurants, and finding sustainable, affordable packaging can be difficult. The response we’ve gotten has been incredible, restaurants have been really excited to start the program!"

Several establishments in Waterloo Region have recently partnered with A Friendlier Company, including Cafe Pyrus, Christopher's Gelato and Top Market Family Farms, with Those Pizza Guys and The Yeti set to sign on soon as well.

How it works is, when a customer buys a meal from a partner business, they pay a small deposit for the container with the cost of their meal.

To get their deposit back, they need to scan the QR code on the container with A Friendlier Company's mobile app, then drop it off at a participating location.

The containers --- which are Ontario-made --- are then washed, sanitized, in a commercial dishwashing facility located at the University of Guelph, before being redistributed, which Dale says creates a closed-loop, zero-waste system.

Dale adds they do hope to eventually expand their business across Ontario.

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