As of March 6, Encora, a company specializing in reusable containers, aims to decrease waste and plastic waste at Café Chabot. The implementation of Encora’s containers not only promotes environmental sustainability for students and staff but also reduces waste management expenses.
Ted Wallis, the Founder, and CEO of Encora, told us in an interview that Chabot College and Ohlone College are currently the exclusive recipients of these containers. As the company expands its product distribution, users can access the service through a free app.
To use the app, students must provide credit or debit card information for identification purposes only. Encora employs STRIPE, a secure third-party payment processor, to ensure that sensitive information remains protected and inaccessible to the company.
When ordering lunch from the cafe, students and staff can request their food to be packed in an Encora container. To do so, they simply scan the container’s QR code, akin to borrowing a book from the library. These containers are then returned to a designated silver bin in the cafeteria, collected, and sent back to the distributor for cleaning.
Chabot student Iyan Gilder, expressed his thoughts about Encora’s container return process, applauding the app’s easy procedure, and walked through the steps of maneuvering the app’s scan feature.
Encora’s containers can withstand up to 1,200 washes without being damaged by food stains. They are cleaned using high-temperature commercial dishwashers, ensuring thorough sanitation.
Although the Encora app requires a valid credit card, users will only be charged if they fail to return the container within seven days. As an incentive to use and return the containers, customers can earn a five-dollar discount on their meal after returning five containers at Café Chabot.
Encora envisions its products eventually replacing single-use plastic containers. With longer-lasting containers, the Seattle-based company offers a variety of options, including a three-compartment clamshell, a 9×9 box for larger meals, a soup cup, a 5×5 sandwich container, and drink cups. If successful, the program will expand its product range next year.
Chabot student Ian Beyea shared his positive experience using Encora’s containers, praising their quality and durability. He acknowledged the potential benefits of the program for Chabot College moving forward.
Through the introduction of Encora’s container program, Chabot College is taking a significant step toward reducing single-use waste and mitigating its environmental impact.