ZERO WASTE: Each reusable food container has an embedded NFC tag which is scanned to prove return

Customers ordering takeaway food from restaurants in Toronto in Canada can now collect their orders in a reusable food container embedded with an NFC tag that enables them to confirm they have returned the container after use at a “contactless return station”.

The pilot service is available to customers who place an order with participating restaurants, including Mugi, The Ace and Café Tibet using Toronto-based “zero waste takeout app” Inwit, that supplies the reusable stainless steel containers.

“Our containers are equipped with near field communication tags (NFC) that help us to verify when borrowed containers are returned and from which account they were returned,” Inwit explains.

“When you return a borrowed container to any participating restaurant location, it will be scanned back into our system and your account will be updated within 24 hours.”

The service is currently only available for customers who collect their order in person, but Inwit says that it is “exploring several options for sustainable and fair delivery” in future.

Eight restaurants in the Canadian city of Waterloo began using recycle food containers embedded with an NFC tag to enable tracking throughout the reuse cycle in July 2021.

Canadian meal ordering app tracks reusable food containers using NFC was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.

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