Currently, we have produced about 8.3 billion tons of plastic globally. 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste and the rest of which will eventually just be a waste after several years. Waste of plastic is among the most severe wastes to environmental sustainability. Reducing waste is a must in order to establish a sustainable ecosystem. Plastic and other such materials are often used for packaging in restaurants and cafes for takeaways or deliveries. Finding an easy way to mitigate such waste can help us deliberately use plastic; that’s where technology like NFC and RFID can be effective.
The growing use of food delivery and plastic waste
Online food delivery services have thrived all over the world in the last few years, and such a growth of delivery services heavily relies upon plastic bags and containers for the lack of a better alternative. The only alternative is to make those containers reusable. However, reusable food containers may require higher quality, sustainable material (additional cost), and restaurants can not afford to lose such containers.
Retrieval of the container can be achieved with the help of an identifier such as NFC or RFID. A proper system to retrieve, log and manage containers can help establish a sustainable food delivery system that is suitable for the environment in the long run. One such example of sustainable food delivery/takeaways is from a Toronto-based takeout app called Inwit.
Inwit’s solution for sustainable food containers
Inwit is a mobile app platform that allows users to order food from Toronto-based restaurants and cafes. They envision establishing a zero-waste takeout platform and have partnered with renowned places in the City of Toronto. NFC is the key player in their food containers to avoid any packaging waste by using stainless steel containers.
Invit’s food containers are equipped with embedded NFC tags, which would be used for retrieving purposes. These NFC tag containers will be associated with a customer whenever a customer orders. Similarly, the NFC tag will be used to mark the retrieval once the customer has returned the container. Inwit allows users to return the container at any partner restaurant, making the retrieval easier and accessible.
Even though the current system is limited to takeaways, Inwit is confident that such an NFC-based reusable food container can be applied for deliveries as well someday. Embedded NFC tag has allowed restaurants to invest in stainless steel containers as major restaurants and cafes in Toronto are adapting to it.
The future of recycling and NFC
Inwit’s initiative to use reusable food containers has also inspired further similar actions in Waterloo, Canada, as they begin use of NFC-based recycled food containers. They leverage NFC to track the recycling of those food containers. Such an excellent initiative will resonate with other sustainability initiatives and lead to similar innovations.
It also demonstrates that NFC and RFID tags can be inexpensive, quick, and easy to deploy for such a vast scale. This solution from Invit is the proof of concept for anyone that is looking for sustainability developments needing traceability.