From Disposable to Reusable: It’s Possible with the Right Partner

Published on : 10/25/22
  • Here’s the thing: single-use food packaging is everywhere. From grocery stores to university campuses, our society has come to rely on these items for convenience. But what’s the impact? 

    Globally, about 40% of plastics are used for packaging, with a large percentage geared specifically toward the food and beverage sector. In Canada, an estimated 3 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced each year, and only 9% of it is recycled. This means most plastics end up in landfills. 

    This means companies must find waste reduction solutions that are ecological while maintaining an edge in the market.

    As a socially and environmentally responsible company, Sodexo Canada recognizes that addressing the packaging-to-landfill issue is vital to business ethics and growth.

    Our primary waste reduction strategy follows the Zero Waste Hierarchy. It guides our decisions to source highly valued recyclables that are accepted by waste sorting facilities, so they can be diverted away from landfill. 

    But our starting point is to avoid needless waste on all fronts, including food packaging waste.  

    That is why we look for partners with innovative technologies to help us engage our teams and report metrics on sustainable efforts. These partnerships accelerate performance while providing a benefit to our on-site communities, operations, and expenditures.


    Relying on Reusable

    As part of our Better Tomorrow roadmap, we are committed to making decisions that will have a great impact on our environment by working with companies that can help support this mission. 

    Companies such as Cano

    Cano offers self-serve, reusable cups and containers combined with a sustainable rewards program. This convenient reusable solution helps food service providers eliminate single-use packaging. 

    In a matter of seconds, consumers can borrow reusable containers at their dining halls and return them within 14 days to a secured Cano bin. This reusable option is free and without a deposit, making it accessible to everyone. Cano is also a cost-effective solution in the long term, reducing packaging purchases and improving waste management. 


    With sustainability initiatives and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance so prevalent for major companies, being able to track the amount of waste and greenhouse gas emissions for each food service location is a game changer for understanding your impact on the environment. 

    Cano is currently deployed with various use models in multiple Sodexo-run food service locations across Canada. 

    In addition to being deployed in a large corporate office dining hall and an all-boys school cafeteria, the Cano program has been quite successful at three university campuses — the University of New Brunswick (UNB), Université Laval, and more recently, St. Francis Xavier University (StFX). This program's use ranges from improving resident dining to retail spaces on campus.  

    By the numbers:

    • Total of disposable packaging saved: 29,376
    • Kg of CO2 saved (greenhouse gas): 4,113
    • 15% reduction of disposable container purchases at Université Laval


    Marco Gartenhaus, Founder at Cano Company, says:

    Sodexo's team has been incredibly insightful in helping us create a reusable container and rewards solution that fits their operational needs. Sodexo has ambitious sustainability goals, and we are excited to help accelerate the transition from single-use packaging to a well-designed reusable experience.

    Learn more about Sodexo’s commitments to creating a better tomorrow.



    During the last week of October, we run our annual WasteLess Week campaign. During that week, we empower our employees and consumers to reduce waste and drive awareness of sustainable practices.