GUELPH -- A pair of University of Waterloo graduates have started a business aimed at reducing waste.

Restaurants can use their reusable packaging for customers to take home after paying a small deposit.

"They are great containers, they're durable," said Mark Rodford with The Cornerstone. "The pick up and drop off is easy."

Customers pay deposits of 50 cents or $1, depending on the size.

"But they can get those back, just like at the Beer Store," Kayli Dale, co-founder of A Friendlier Company, said. "Once you return your container, you'll get that money back on the app."

A Friendlier Company has a goal to put a dent on disposable waste using polypropylene plastic containers manufactured in Ontario.

"They are made out of a company that has sustainable on the brain, that uses 30 per cent less energy than most plastic manufacturers," co-founder Jacquie Hutchings said.

"It's NSF certified and completely certified for use during COVID," Dale said.

The duo launched the new initiative in Guelph.

Officials with the City of Guelph said they do not audit waste systems when it comes to single use packaging like takeout containers, but they do encourage the use of reusable containers whenever possible.

The company is selling their products to a handful of companies in Guelph and the surrounding area at a flat rate.

"The price is comfortable so it doesn't make a huge difference for us at all," Rodford said.

He added the decision was about saving the environment.

"We've always been doing green initiatives so it just fit in with our philosophy perfectly," Rodford said.

"We would love to be across Canada and have zero waste everywhere," Dale said.

The launch was aptly timed as restaurants see a surge in takeout sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.