Everything you need to know about our Eco Programs!

What is the Eco-Mug Program?

The eco-mug program offers a discount (10 cents at our franchises and 20 cents at our other locations) on hot beverages to customers who bring their own clean, reusable coffee mug to any UW Food Services location.  

What is the Eco-Container Program?

UW Food Services' Eco-Container program gives students the option to take their food to go without the waste. In 2022, Eco-Containers were used instead of disposable containers a total of 128 000 times! 

eco-container poster eco-mug poster

How can you join the Eco-Container Program?

You can join the program by purchasing your first Eco-Container for a one-time cost of $10.00. By purchasing your first container, you can avoid the cost of using single-use products when you return the container and use another for your next meal!

Treat the Eco-Token carabiner like your Watcard and keep it with you while you're on campus to ensure you have access to it when you purchase a meal to-go from our dining areas. If you lose your Eco-Token carabiner or Eco-Container, you will need to rejoin the program by paying the $10.00 program entry fee again.

How does the Eco-Container Program work?

  1. Ask for our green Eco-Container while ordering from one of our participating locations' food stations or pick up an Eco-Container when utilizing one of our self-service stations, such as our salad bars.
  2. Once your green Eco-Container has been filled with your chosen food, proceed to the cash registers to pay for your meal. You will pay a one-time entry fee of $10.00 to join the program and utilize the Eco-Container while paying for your meal.
  3. Once you've enjoyed your food in your Eco-Container, you can return the container to any of our participating locations‘ dining areas. 
  4. When returning your Eco-Container, notify a nearby cashier. In exchange for returning the Eco-Container, you will be given a green Eco-Token carabiner.
  5. Our staff will properly wash and disinfect returned Eco-Containers before they are reused in our dining areas.
  6. The next time you buy a meal from our participating locations in an Eco-Container, show the cashier the Eco-Token carabiner, and they will accept it in return for using the container.
  7. The cycle is then repeated with your Eco-Container, and you've helped to keep single use packaging out of landfills!

Eco-container program steps

Why should you join the Eco-Container Program?

There are a variety of reasons to join the program!

Firstly, eco-friendly reusable food containers significantly reduce waste output. Disposable containers incur waste management costs since they must be processed and disposed of properly. If they are not, these containers just contribute to the rising mountains of garbage within landfills. In comparison, a reusable eco-container can be washed and used repeatedly.

Secondly, after the initial 10-dollar cost of opting into the program, students are saving money on the cost of the disposable containers! The single-use containers provided in our dining areas cost $1 per container, which may add up if you eat on campus regularly.

As a result, by opting to reuse with our Eco-Container program, you save money and minimize packaging waste going to landfills! 

For more information, contact us at foodservices@uwaterloo.ca

Money Saving Tip: You can participate in both the Eco-Container and Eco-Mug (offers discount hot beverage prices to students and staff who bring their own reusable coffee mug to any of the UW Food Services outlets) programs to save on food and drinks for every meal! You get 20 cents off at UW Food Services locations and 10 cents off at any of our franchises if you bring your own mug!