In the event of bereavements and health emergencies, many people are given meals by friends and more distant relatives. While there is little (or no) question as to whether objects such as casserole dishes or Tupperware containers be returned (that answer being yes), how about disposable or reused containers?
After a recent "family crisis" we were given such gifts of kindness. I dutifully washed receptacles and returned them, with a sincere thank you message. This include a foil "take away" ("carry-out") tray and a reused plastic ice cream container. When these items were returned, the original giver looked bemused, and unsure what to do with them. I felt bad that I had apparently left them with some embarrassment.
Does courtesy and respect for property dictate that one should always attempt to return such items?