Is This the Answer to All the Waste Created by Meal Delivery Kits?

By Mike Pomranz |

Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

I’m human and, thusly, I’m a bit lazy. We all are. And just as we all have our lazy moments, we all have an extent to how lazy we’ll be before we realize it’s problematic. Meal delivery kits would seem to illustrate this balance perfectly: You’re too lazy to shop, but not too lazy to cook – which is the important part anyway. But for many people (myself included), that “too lazy to shop” part comes with its own big problem: lots of waste. With little bits of packaging holding individual portions of ingredients all in a larger box, suddenly your laziness feels more environmentally destructive than it should.

FreshRealm believes they’ve solved this issue in the meal kit world, letting customers have their laziness and feel eco-conscious while eating it too. Though the company started as just another meal kit business, the brand has become a pioneering force by creating a reusable meal delivery shipping crate. In fact, FreshRealm’s unique boxes are so highly-regarded, some of their competitors are even using them.

According to the New York Times, who spoke with FreshRealm’s chief executive Michael Lippold, these shipping vessels “house metal plates that help maintain the desired temperature.” The boxes, which can hold about two meal kits, are delivered by FedEx, then, after use, customers send them back via FedEx thanks to an included return label. The vessels are then sanitized, and out they go again.

“If you’re a meal kit company with a national program that delivers perishables to the door, you have to build your own infrastructure of refrigerated trucks — and that’s a big challenge,” Lippold told the NYT. “Our boxes are able to ship everything from a heat-and-eat lasagna to a grab-and-go salad and fresh-cut watermelon at 32 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit — it’s a massive competitive advantage.”

It’s a complicated issue for a growing industry. But this is a big and recyclable step in the right direction. 

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