Jugs & Bottles

Includes food containers made from #2 HDPE plastic.  These are primarily containers for liquid products used in the cafe, eg milk, vegetable oil, juice, and cleaning products.  Most were recovered from back of house waste/recycling bins in the cafe kitchen.

Reduction Potential: Low-Medium

Material Definition

Examples include translucent gallon milk and juice jugs, beverage bottles, laundry detergent bottles, and some shampoo/personal care product bottles. Caps/lids are included if attached or left on. Items could be clear or of any color.


  • Explore reusable packaging options with suppliers
  • Consider fewer, larger container
  • Consider products made from concentrate

Examples from Audit

Milk, oil, and orange juice containers, largely from the Cafe-BOH.


Explore reusable packaging options with suppliers.

While this is not something we’ve demonstrated, it seems theoretically possible for suppliers to send us food items in reusable containers. For example, we receive prepped vegetables from our distributor in sturdy plastic buckets that could ostensibly be washed and reused. Compass is exploring this and related strategies. Elsewhere, food companies are deploying reusable containers for shipping produce, and start-ups like Loop and MIWA are providing an alternative packaging-free supply chains.

Waste audits and pantry visits show that we often buy food in small plastic containers when fewer large ones might suffice. For example, in one cafe we found that our cafe team orders yogurt by purchasing dozens of one quart consumer size plastic containers each week when our supplier could provide a three gallon bucket of the same product.

Purchase food in fewer, larger containers.

A single 25 lb yogurt container holds the same volume as 12.5 32 oz size containers of the same product and costs less per pound.
Photos: Compass