Introducing the Reusable Takeout Container Initiative
There’s an exciting new eco-friendly project launching in Del Ray this month and it’s the idea of Del Ray residents and T.C. Williams sophomores Leila Rasmussen, Elspeth Collard, and Bridget Williams. As part of a STEM program project, the students devised a way to reduce the amount of waste created by takeout containers.
The program, the Reusable Takeout Container Initiative (RTC), is similar to the concept of bringing your own shopping bags to grocery stores. Consumers purchase a sturdy, bpa-free, microwave- and dishwasher-safe 3-part container for $5 that they can use at participating restaurants. Every time you use your container for a takeout order or to bring leftovers home, you get 10% off your meal.
Pork Barrel BBQ’s Bill Blackburn and Taqueria el Poblano’s Jeff Wallingford were the first to sign on. Los Tios is also participating. Wallingford says, “Bill and I discussed it and thought it was a great idea and that there would be certain economies of scale and a synergy that we could work on and hopefully replicate up and down the Avenue. I believe in ‘renew, reuse and recycle’ and was really impressed with the girls persevering to gain our participation.”
Wallingford believes that Del Ray “is the ideal place for such a pilot program. Local customers will likely respond to the program with energy and enthusiasm that matches the students.”
The sophomores’ initial goal is to sell 56 containers available at the three restaurants beginning May 12. As the program goes on and more awareness is created, the team hopes to get more restaurants involved and eventually make the program Del Ray wide. Their longer term goal is to have 6 restaurants participating and to have sold 200 containers in the first 3 months.
Leila, Elspeth and Bridget will be promoting RTC at the Del Ray Farmers Market on Saturday, May 6. Stop by and learn more! You can also contact them at RTCIcreators@gmail.com.
Special thanks to Jennifer Powell for telling us about the program and for providing the photos and content for this post. You can read her complete story in the Alexandria Gazette Packet.