Within an hour after leaving the restaurant, all those styrofoam and cardboard takeout and leftovers containers are headed in one direction: the landfill.
That old-style thinking is on its way out, at least in Vancouver, British Columbia, thanks to The Tiffin Project. Donate $26, and you get a re-usable TO GO container. You also get a discount at participating restaurants, each time you bring your container. What’s more, $4 of the initial $26 will be used to help partner restaurants source local foods for their menus.
This project is such a fantastic idea, I’m sitting here with a big grin on my face. The Tiffin Project is brand new, but already these restaurants are involved: Curry2U, Nuba, The Noodle Box, Fable, Edible Canada, Harvest Union, The Waldorf Hotel and Tacofino. All of them have menus that make me drool.
If you’re wondering how the project got its name, read “Mahadeo’s Dream” about the man who started a lunch catering service in Mumbai in 1880. His model is still going strong, with thousands of lunches being delivered in the distinctive metal containers.
The Tiffin Project has settled on one-layer Onyx Containers that will be branded with the project’s logo. Inspiration came from two directions. One was Hunter Moyes, chef at the Waldorf Hotel’s kitchen, who launched the project. His bottom line was being affected by having to purchase all those to-go containers. So was his eco-conscience.
He learned about Shaffeen Jamal, who had started his own tiffin service in his restaurant, Curry2U. That inspired Moyes to go for his dream and expand its vision.
The program launched July 1, 2012. If the Tiffin Project signs up 1000 members, and they all use their tiffins twice a week, 104,000 takeout containers will not end up in landfills.
What a fabulous idea. I hope they’ll be so successful restaurants all over Canada and beyond will soon be part of The Tiffin Project. Instead of all those one-use containers banging around in plastic bags, we’ll see people carrying around their tiffins.