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TYPE OF CASE/THEME
Reusable packaging, restaurant industry, waste minimisation
INITIATIVE IN SHORT
The German company Vytal offers reusable food containers for takeaway meals. The containers, which are produced in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, are leak proof and made of recyclable polypropylene. Vytal offers a broad range of packaging to cater for different meals (soups, sushi, pizza etc.), as well as hot drinks. Customers register for the packaging service and can then borrow the containers for a period of 14 days from Vytal partners.
IN WHAT WAY A BEST PRACTICE?
The European Union Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive requires all EU Member States to develop Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes for packaging by 2024. EPR schemes and policies shift the financial and operational responsibility to producers to manage products post-consumer stage. In the restaurant industry, this involves the management, recycling, and/or collection and reuse of takeaway packaging. From 1 January 2024, companies will also be required to offer reusable packaging for food and drink for their customers (Swedish Ordinance on single-use products (2021: 996). This packaging must be linked to a system, such as the system offered by Vytal, to enable recirculation and reuse. In addition to this, companies will need to use packaging that is deemed to have the smallest climate impact, and also provide information to customers regarding the impact of single-use packaging.
The 10 most commonly used single-use plastic products found on European beaches represent, alongside fishing gear, 70% of all marine litter in the EU. On 2 July 2019, the EU Single-use plastic Directive entered into force in the aim of minimising the use and impact of these most common single-use plastic products and creating sustainable alternatives. The Directive aims to promote a transition to a circular economy and therefore also seeks to establish innovative, circular, and sustainable solutions to the problem of plastic packaging in the EU.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Vytal products are available for a range of businesses and consumers, including private consumers, restaurants, canteens and caterers, companies, and food retailers. Vytal also promotes its products for use in municipalities. Private customers either register to use the Vytal products through the Vytal app, or by purchasing a Vytal membership card. Customers select the option to use Vytal reusable packaging when ordering takeaway food restaurants that are registered with Vytal. On pickup, the QR code on a Vytal container is scanned, as well as the QR code in the Vytal app or on the Vytal membership card. The container is then lent out to a customer for a period of 14 days, similar to a library book loan system. No deposit is required to be able to loan the reusable containers. All registered Vytal partners clean the containers in their industrial dishwashers before recirculating them in the system. Once a package has been used/filled more than 10 times, it is considered more sustainable than disposable packaging and saves up to 30 kg of CO2 over its life cycle compared to disposable packaging made of polystyrene or aluminium.
- European Union Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive
- Naturvårdsverkets advice on single-use plastic
EXAMPLES IN SWEDEN
AN INITIATIVE FROM PROJECT MATLUST'S TRANSNATIONAL COMPONENT
MatLust is an EU project with the purpose of strengthening growth and sustainability within the food industry in the Stockholm region. In MatLust’s transnational component we are looking for best practice and good examples in the Baltic Sea region. Areas of interest are sustainable business models for SME in the food sector, innovative applications of public procurement and Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and initiatives for more resilient food systems. Good examples are documented and spread via MatLust's website and events.
Forskningsrelaterade samarbeten, MatLust Utvecklingsnod samt Projektledare, Mineralskiftet Tel: 08-523 064 40 E-post