CauliBox is an award-winning sustainability startup creating a network of tech-enabled reusable lunchboxes to take the hassle out of ditching disposables, providing a win-win-win solution for businesses, users, and the Earth. CauliBox has already been trialled at a number of London food markets, and they have partnerships with brands and organisations such as: Westminster City Council, Veolia and London School of Economics.
Within CauliBox’s circular economy the loop system is as follows: the packaging is used, collected or dropped off, washed, and repeatedly re-used at least 400 times, users of the app earn ‘CauliCoins for their efforts which rewards the user with gifts like exhibition tickets. The CauliBox system has helped UK businesses to reduce their carbon emissions in the UK since the business’s inception in 2019, reducing an impressive 237.5g of carbon emissions per use.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Living in London, my co-founder and I enjoyed the vibrant street food scene around our offices. However, we noticed that the office bins were constantly piled up with takeout food packaging. After a bit of digging, we found that around 11 billion pieces of packaging waste are produced every year from food-on-the-go; the delicious takeaways we loved came with a hefty price tag for the environment.
This was a huge problem with no solution, so we took matters into our own hands. We started grabbing after-work drinks, doing research, and meeting for the weekend brainstorming sessions to find the answer. Countless hours of ideas later, we had it! Armed with 20 lunchboxes, a clipboard, and the dream of London’s first reusable lunchbox scheme, we marched over to a food market to recruit members for the first trial. From there, a 10-person trial snowballed into a reuse solutions that serves hundreds every day.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
The pandemic has been difficult since we work mainly with the hospitality sector. Our biggest operation was in street food markets, which were closed during the pandemic, however, we switched our focus and were able to build a sustainable delivery platform that uses reusable packaging for our partnered street food vendors who were suffering from the decreased business due to the pandemic.
We are now developing this platform further to service offices and parties, offering delicious food delivered in packaging that are collected, professionally santised, and reused again and again.
What can we hope to see from CauliBox in the future?
There are many exciting things in the future. CauliBox is excited to have raised seed investment from SFC Capital to further our mission to eliminate single-use packaging waste in the food-to-go industry.
We will be working with our catering partners to focus on improving our tracking technology and refining the user experience to ensure the circularity of our reuse scheme while helping our users to switch to more sustainable practices without hassle.