Reusable containers make take-out more Earth-friendly

The receptacles looked sturdy, and they felt strong, but Leigh Priecko wasn’t ready to believe the eco-friendly containers recently purchased by UAB Campus Restaurants were as rugged as the manufacturer claimed.

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So the marketing manager for Campus Restaurants put them to the test — a 30-foot drop off the upper level of The Commons on the Green.

“I dropped it on the tile just to check,” she says, “and it didn’t break. So they’re pretty durable.”

That’s just one added benefit of the new, reusable Eco-Ware — a new sustainability initiative to lessen the environmental dint of take-out dining at UAB. 

The containers will cost $5 during a one-day sale Tuesday, March 6 to encourage their use. Afterward, diners can purchase a container from The Commons, The Diner or Blazer Café for $7. Participants can then return their used container to exchange for a clean one for their next meal.

“The container itself is made of sturdy polypropelene that is 100 percent BPA-free, microwave and dishwasher safe and can be used again and again,” Priecko says. “We can put it through our giant dishwasher and it’s not going to warp, but it will be sanitized. Our employees and students can reduce their carbon footprint and reduce the amount of styrofoam in area landfills, even if they want their meals to go from any on-campus location.”

The Jefferson County Health Department gave the containers a passing grade earlier this year, and Campus Restaurants began selling the containers Feb. 13. To date, 59 employees and students have purchased a container. Priecko says reaction to the containers so far has been extremely positive.

Sustainability