With thousands of Americans ordering pizza every day, not only are they merely getting a pizza, but also the cardboard that serves as packaging for it. In a year, over 3 billion pizza boxes are discarded and only a small portion are recycled – the grease and food that tends to linger on the cardboard significantly complicates the recyclers’ ability to process it. The California-based company Good News Reuse has not only recognized the fact that the popularity of pizza has created a significant waste stream, but they’ve also come up with a product that takes steps to solve this problem.
This product, the Pi Pan, is a completely reusable certified food-grade stainless steel container made especially for pizza. Along with being BPA-free, Good News Reuse claims that it keeps pizza hotter longer than the average cardboard box and can be reused thousands of times, but only requires 35 uses to pay for itself. Of course, the question is raised about how using the Pi Pan affects the convenience that attracts to many Americans to order pizza – instead of initially targeting individual consumers, Good News Reuse plans to target pizza places that have customers that place regular orders, like schools and businesses. It’s not difficult to imagine some creative pizza places using the pan as innovative marketing tool though, with discounts as potential incentives to avoid traditional pizza boxes.
With the need to greatly reduce the amount of trash that we’re sending to landfills in the very near future, the Pi Pan serves as an example of how innovation can change the ways we perceive packaging in our day-to-day lives and makes changes for the better.