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Reusable packaging in the take-away sector

Every year, many tons of waste are generated by single-use plastic packaging! In order to reduce the amount of plastic waste, a ban on products made of single-use plastic will come into force throughout the EU in 2021. This is indeed a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, single-use packaging in the take-away sector causes huge mountains of waste - even when more environmentally friendly alternatives are used. The solution: reusable deposit systems for take-away packaging in the catering industry.

Why a reusable system for take-away?

Probably the most important reason to use reusable takeaway packaging is, of course, sustainability! Because even environmentally friendly disposable packaging creates waste. And not every material is equally sustainable either. While materials such as bagasse or paper can be composted or recycled, bioplastics such as PLA are usually incinerated. The reason: even though PLA is biodegradable in principle, it usually takes too long for the products to decompose. It is therefore not possible to compost organic waste and PLA together. Since there are only a few PLA products on the market so far, separate composting of PLA products in large composting plants is also not economical. Since reusable packaging can be reused many times, it is clearly the most environmentally friendly type of take-away packaging. In addition, food can be beautifully presented in Pure Boxes made of glass or swing-top jars, making it look more appetizing than from paper cups.

Polypropylene offers another alternative. These containers are more environmentally friendly than conventional disposable products. In addition, they can be reused hundreds of times before recycling. The material is suitable for the dishwasher, microwave and refrigerator.

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Which reusable packaging is suitable for take-away?

Not every material is suitable for to-go reusable packaging! Because there are a few things that should be considered. The packaging should be robust and easy to clean. Tempered glass is perfect here: The tempered glass is very break-resistant, can withstand both high and low temperatures and is very hygienic.

Is reusable packaging unhygienic for the catering industry?

Many guests fear that reusable packaging is more unhygienic than disposable packaging. After all, other guests take the packaging home with them! However, this concern is unfounded: Tempered glass is very hygienic. Also, as a restaurateur, you should clean all the boxes again - even if they come back clean. Glass boxes can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher. So take-away reusable packaging is no less hygienic than china, cutlery and glasses when eating on site.

What could a deposit system look like?

Of course, reusable packaging is only worthwhile if it is also returned! That's why it's worth setting up a deposit system for to-go packaging. In principle, it's quite simple: Your guests deposit a certain amount per package - for example, 5 or 10 euros. If they return the packaging undamaged on their next visit, they get the deposit back.