Friendlier: Reducing plastic waste through reusable packaging

This blog post is a collaborative effort with Harvest Impact, a project of 10C that plays a critical role in supporting Our Food Future in Guelph-Wellington by mobilizing community donations, philanthropy, and social finance investments. Harvest Impact’s mission is to create a connected ecosystem of change-makers and investors who are committed to driving positive social and environmental change. Through this collaboration, we hope to provide insights about enterprise level SDG impact to support the shared vision of building a sustainable and resilient food system for the region.

Friendlier has circularity at its core. Since launching in 2020, the company has reused over 500,000 containers, diverted 23 tons of waste and reduced more than 67 tons of carbon emissions. With invaluable support from the Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL), they are proving a circular supply chain model is capable of transforming the single-use plastic industry while making significant contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Having crossed paths prior to their first lecture at University of Waterloo, Co-Founders Kayli Dale and Jacquie Hutchings shared they couldn’t live and work in a world where the climate crisis was not a priority. With a mission to simplify the switch from single-use to reusable packaging, Friendlier supports food service providers, including universities, corporate offices, markets and restaurants. Instead of relying on single-use takeout containers, Friendlier supplies these establishments with reusable takeout containers, which are provided to customers as a sustainable alternative. Once customers finish their meal, they can return their containers at one of their 150 convenient drop off locations across Ontario and Western Quebec. Each container is affixed with a scannable QR code which provides the user with a return payment. Once collected, the containers are washed and sanitized for reuse, with each container being reused up to 100 times.

SDG Impact

From Zehrs to Crafty Ramen, Friendlier works with a variety of food providers to meet their unique needs and support their sustainability goals.This well established system fosters circularity and contributes to 3 main SDGs. 

Enhance growth with Circular Business Tools and Services 

In 2022, Friendlier was able to maximize sanitation capacity and minimize processing costs through their participation in the Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL) Program. 

With the help of COIL, the company was able to support higher volume clients and diversify their products. These transformative changes not only fostered circularity within Friendlier but also had a ripple effect among the industries the company served.  By proactively reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfills, Friendlier actively promotes the principles of circularity. 

Friendlier has grown to over 200 locations across Ontario, helping big and small businesses become more sustainable. Friendlier’s model is simple – keep containers in circulation instead of in landfills! Download their app and find a location near you!