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From the Wall Street Journal:

"Some restaurants in New York City would have to offer customers the option of reusable, returnable containers for dine-in, takeout and delivery, rather than rely on the single-use packaging still ubiquitous in food service, under a new bill introduced in the City Council this month. 

"The so-called Choose 2 Reuse bill aims to improve sustainability in the restaurant business, but would add some friction to a customer experience that is typically defined by its convenience. Consumers would be asked to later return their reusable food containers, knives, forks and chopsticks either through delivery or logistics partners who come to pick them up or in person via receptacles at participating restaurants. The bill doesn’t require reusable beverage containers.

"Proponents say they believe many customers are ready to sacrifice the convenience of dumping containers in the trash for the benefit of reducing their reliance on throwaway plastics, while those who aren’t would still be able to receive single-use packaging. Companies are already testing ways to make drop-offs as convenient and enticing as possible, they say.

"But trials of similar programs haven’t always gone smoothly, nor ended in widespread implementation. And integrating a new system for packaging food is an unappealing prospect in an industry with tight margins that is still recovering from the pandemic shutdowns, sustainability and restaurant executives say."

KC's View:

I applaud the impulse, but I have to wonder how many apartment dwellers in the city will have the room to be able to stash this stuff until they can return it.  It is one of the realities of city living that for many people, space is at a premium, and it is hard to do these things even if you want to.

Retailers of all kinds need to be vigilant about this stuff, though, because this could simply be an opening bid, with similar initiatives being applied to other segments.