Retail Retail
Products sold at the counter and/or in bulk | Food counters
  • Prioritize using products sold at the counter (meat, cold cuts, cheese) and/or in bulk (fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, cookies, oils, vinegars, etc.). Serve and wrap in store.
  • Limit the packaging products and containers ordered from suppliers (see if you can get a reasonable supply from them).
  • Reuse the containers and packaging that products were delivered in when packaging customers’ purchases. Watch out for direct or cross-contamination.
  • Train your teams and establish a new set of professional practices surrounding the use of reusable containers.
  • Encourage customers to bring their own reusable containers and bags. These items must be commensurate with providing a hygienic service.
  • Offer reusable containers on consignment: develop an in-house system (for example, using Mason jars or Tupperware containers) or join an all-included program (outsourced).
  • Specific equipment : distributors, fluid dispensers, gravity silos, scoop bins, etc.
  • Handling : the space should be arranged as to avoid direct or cross-contamination.
  • Hygiene : follow all recommended practices and MAPAQ’s hygiene and food safety protocols.
  • Cleaning : should be done regularly throughout the day with the right products.
  • It’s important to implement a clear protocol that is clearly communicated to both your staff and customers to ensure it is properly followed. For example :
    • Wash your hands often ;
    • Always ensure that the service (accessible to customers) and preparation areas (only accessible to staff) are kept clean ;
    • Limit contact between specific products as much as possible ;
    • Specify how consigned cups, glasses, containers and utensils should be returned ;
    • Have a dedicated return area for reusable consignment containers (for example, space on a cart or tub for retrieval).
  • Cleaning : use functional industrial-level (preferably energy-efficient) cleaning and sanitation equipment. Outsource this operation if space is an issue.

Here are some suppliers who offer products and/or services that can help you implement reusable solutions for RETAIL :

Packaging suppliers for retail stores
Equipment suppliers for bulk stores
Regular restaurant suppliers
Retail and second-hand stores

Quebec company designing products and systems for the management of reusable packaging

  • Company created in 2020
  • 3 divisions : Bopaq (design, sale and rental of reusable packaging), technology for tracking and inventory management of reusable products and LavaBo (washing center)

– Free or deposit loan (depending on the choice of the merchant) with the Bo mobile/web application to track or refund the deposit
– Range of 7 high-end containers (free loan)
– Range of 3 containers (and more planned for next fall) cheaper (with deposit)
– Borrowing can be free for customers with a Bo account when they return the container(s) to a Bo recovery point (return bin installed at a partner business). The returned and recovered containers then go to the washing center.

– 22 oz mug “8oba 22” for drinks such as bubble teas, slushes, iced coffees (pre-orders in progress)
– Tray for groceries or events

– Technology : mobile/web application that allows the tracking of reusable containers; or for the return and refund of consigned meals
– Reverse/return logistics service
– LavaBo : recovery of containers and washing (flexible offer depending on the nature and the needs of the food trade)
– Assistance in setting up Bo solutions and tools
– Local manufacturing (South Shore of Montreal)

514 577-6811

A service offer that is very popular with caterers, restaurants and specialized businesses (butchers, cheese shops, etc.)

  • Solidarity cooperative created in 2021
  • Rental service for returnable reusable food containers
  • Turnkey service for collecting, washing, sanitizing and redistributing containers

– Stainless steel containers with or without yellow food grade silicone lid (3 sizes : 1200 ml, 1000 ml, 600 ml)
– Glasses (2 sizes : 16 oz, 10 oz)
– Utensils

– Deposit : $9 – the deposit is not a cost, but a monetary exchange when borrowing a container to encourage its circulation
– Turnkey service for collecting, washing, sanitizing and redistributing containers
– Assessment of the needs of the caterer, restaurant or business
– Employee training and training content for the implementation of the deposit
– Communication support & SEO on website
– Delivery of containers by cargo bike or electric car

>> Contact form to be completed on the website or by email

438 738-1591

The pros
  • Reduce single-use packaging.
  • Reduce food waste (customers get the portions they ordered).
  • Maintain better control over your inventory.
  • Increase customer loyalty with container returns.
  • Meet customers’ expectations vis-à-vis the reduction of single-use packaging.
The cons
  • Inform and train your team about proper hygiene and food safety protocols.
  • Adapt meal portions to the size of the reusable containers.
  • Communicate and offer your reusable container program to customers (posters, communiqués, etc.).
  • Implement an incentive or refund program to return reusable containers.
  • Make room for storage if containers are washed on site.
  • Outsourcing can be a solution if space is an issue.


This guide was produced in partnership with the City of Montreal.

City of Montreal