Membership Directory - Corporate

Earthware Reusables Inc.

Member Since: 2024


About the business: Earthware is a social enterprise that has successfully implemented a reusable takeout container program in Calgary and surrounding municipalities. Our mission is to tackle the waste produced by 450 million single-use takeout containers, both plastic and compostable, that end up in landfills and on the streets of Alberta each year. The impact of this initiative can be seen in the 50,000 containers that have been collected, washed, sanitized, thoroughly inspected, and sold for reuse to food service providers since Earthware’s inception.
Company Website Address:
Industry: Manufacturing, Production & Wholesale
Ownership Structure: Privately Owned
Origin story of business name: It began as a lightbulb moment during the pandemic, when Earthware Reusables Inc. founder, John MacInnes, was moved to do something about the waste he and his family generated during a typical takeout meal. It has now turned into a worldwide first in reusable systems. No stranger to entrepreneurship, having directed numerous other businesses to success, John decided in April 2021 that his efforts should be directed towards conceptualizing a sustainable, reusable container program for restaurant takeout and delivery in Calgary. With an enthusiastic and loyal team, they embarked on the mission to reduce millions of single-use takeout containers from the landfill. The pilot in Calgary began in the summer of 2021 after MacInnes personally made a hefty investment towards a reusable takeout container purchase and five restaurants jumped on board. This soon evolved into a membership program, not uncommon in other reusable programs. Despite steady growth of participating restaurant partners, as well as the hundreds of members who joined the program, it quickly became obvious there were a couple of insurmountable roadblocks that would not sustain the program. This fork in the road led Earthware to deliberations on the business model and container choice. After successful negotiations with the Alberta Bottle Depot Association and a new fleet of economically viable polypropylene containers, the pivot to a deposit-refund model would catapult Earthware towards becoming a global first in reusable systems. The landscape in Alberta is fertile for an innovative circular economy project. The province’s world-class beverage container collection system is the largest in the country and has an 84% return rate for bottles and cans. With ABDA’s support, bottle depot locations are participating in the municipalities of Calgary, Banff, Canmore and Airdrie, where consumers can return their containers and lids for a refund of a portion of the deposit. Food service providers and their customers have enthusiastically embraced Earthware’s zero-waste takeout deposit refund model, officially launched in March 2023. Over 150,000 containers have been sold to 35+ restaurants and thousands of containers have been returned to bottle depots for refunds. Once collected from the bottle depot, they are inspected, washed, sanitized, and redistributed to food service providers. With Earthware’s competitive pricing to single-use containers, providers can use Earthware exclusively for their takeout container inventory. Additionally, Earthware also promotes their customers’ business to a fast growing demographic of people who are looking to reduce their own waste and reward businesses who are doing the same. Earthware’s traction with the deposit return model has seen revenue growth seven times compared to 2022. They have stopped tens of thousands of single-use containers from going into landfills. With expansion plans set for Edmonton and remaining Alberta municipalities, and talks with the BC Bottle Depot Association, the goal of diverting millions of tonnes of single-use waste is well on its way to materializing.
Social impact practices your company is most proud of?: Earthware's zero-waste takeout deposit refund model has not only transformed the way food service providers operate but has also empowered consumers to actively contribute to a greener future.
Environmental impact practices your company is most proud of?: Earthware’s innovative solution was designed specifically to address the growing concern of single-use plastic waste in the food service industry. Earthware offers a comprehensive and cost-effective system that enables food service providers to transition away from traditional single-use containers and adopt a more sustainable approach, without affecting their bottom line. Our impact: Number of Containers Sold: 151,080 Number of Containers AND lids (pieces of plastic) that have been kept out of the landfills: 54,774 The model of introducing reusable takeout containers in Alberta municipalities is a highly feasible and efficient approach to waste reduction. One of the key advantages of this model is that it can be easily adopted in every municipality across Alberta. The existing infrastructure of bottle depots provides a solid foundation for implementing this system. To evaluate the effectiveness of Earthware's waste reduction models, various metrics have been used which include measuring cost savings to municipalities, the amount of landfill space saved, the volume of water conserved, the energy saved, and the reduction in CO2 emissions. The impact calculations below are based on 54,774 containers saved from the landfill and reused with the program. City savings = $ per: $1,095.48 Landfill Saved = SQ M per: 6,025 Water saved = L per: 82,709 Energy Saved = MJ per: 306,734 C02 Saved = KG per: 45,353
Certified Living Wage Provider?: No
A picture paints a thousand words: Earthware Christmas Party.jpg