Re:Dish Take Two: Plates


Elizabeth Perry, Photography Editor

Poly once again implemented the use of reusable plates in Commons from Re:Dish, a Brooklyn based eco-friendly reusable dishware program. After two years of disposable dishware and utensils due to logistical complications of COVID-19, the kitchen staff is pushing for a more sustainable campus. The new plates can be disposed of in crates near the entrance of Commons. According to Louis Rossini, head chef, there has been a 2.2 percent loss rate on 6,740 plates in the first month. After being placed in the crates, the plates are brought to the Re:Dish cleaning facility to be washed and returned to campus for the following day. 


The return rate, however, is imperfect. “I really need the student body’s help. These dishes can’t end up in the garbage,” said Rossini. “Everytime a plate disappears, it’s a 5 dollar replacement charge. We want to fix this sustainability issue and we don’t want to use paper.” According to a Polygon article from June 2022 regarding the first Re:Dish launch, “After only 10 washes and 500 individual container uses, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 93.2 percent and water consumption by 71.7 percent, which drastically reduces our carbon footprint.”


“Students don’t have to do anything but put it in that little crate. You have to help me out here,” said Rossini. In the first month, February, 152 plates disappeared after being distributed for lunch. “This loss rate [2.2 percent] is fine for now, but I am still a little discouraged that 152 plates went missing in a month,”said Rossini. 


The collaboration with Re:Dish began with the reusable containers for pre-made salads and sandwiches in April of 2022. Over the summer, Rossini reached out to Re:Dish about bringing reusable plates to Commons. The dish is a 10″ plate with a 7.5″ well, made of polypropylene and calcium carbonate in order to limit its carbon footprint. “We pay a small price to have them washed, which makes them worth it,” said Rossini. 


Representatives from Re:Dish have come to Poly on multiple occasions since the beginning of the program. These representatives come to urge students to properly recycle their plates, advertising the importance of Re:Dish. 


In recent years, Poly’s lunch system has drastically changed due to the impacts of COVID. “During lunch at Poly pre-covid, we always had reusable silverware and plates. Now that I see reusable dishes coming back, I am excited to see Poly going back to normal. I’m also excited for Poly to become a more sustainable campus,” said sophomore Ava Buckley.