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Zero-waste meal prep service on offer in Okanagan

Fresh Prep recently launched a zero-waste container to cut out plastic packaging.
Fresh Prep recently launched a zero-waste container to cut out plastic packaging.
Image Credit: Fresh Prep

A B.C. food prep company that currently serves the Okanagan has entered the zero waste realm.

On a weekly basis, roughly 724 Okanagan residents purchase food from Fresh Prep, a meal kit delivery service company based out of the Lower Mainland. The company serves the Central Okanagan, as well as Penticton and Vernon.

At the end of February, Fresh Prep launched a zero-waste reusable meal container to cut down on single-use plastics. Instead of using plastic for ingredients, the new tray system uses reusable sealed cups in a tray that also seals.

The kits are not currently available for every recipe, but the company aims to eventually offer every meal with zero-waste packaging, said Dhruv Sood, co-founder and co-CEO of Fresh Prep.

“We weren’t satisfied with the packaging that was being used in the industry in general," he said. "We’ve been trying for forever now to reduce that as much as we can and zero waste was an idea we had three years ago and we’ve been working on this for the last two and half years to create the tray and the idea was to offer sustainability and convenience at the same time and to make it in a way that’s actually scalable, that we can offer it to everyone at no extra cost."

Sood said in the first week of the container’s launch, they’ve saved on 164 kilograms in plastic.

READ MORE: Despite pandemic, Kelowna's 2nd zero-waste food store opens for business

For meals that can’t be used in the containers, soft plastics can be taken back by Fresh Prep and recycled, he said, something the company has been offering for a while.

Fresh Prep recipes are mostly sourced from B.C. (about 80%) and packaged in Vancouver. They work with a lot of local vendors for add-ons in their menus. 

Currently, recipes are packaged in the Lower Mainland and delivered to residents using Fresh Prep trucks and drivers. While it’s not in near future plans to build a full packaging facility in the Okanagan, they hope to get there one day. 

With the pandemic, people are more open to buying food online and there’s room to grow, he said.

“We’ve almost doubled in size over the pandemic and that’s a bit faster than the growth we were seeing before," Sood said. “The next step after that is the packaging that comes with it. The benefit is you can buy the food online, it’s really easy. The cost of it, is the packaging and that’s what we’re trying to conqueror with zero-waste.”

For more information on Fresh Prep, visit the company’s website here.

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