4 minutes

Using reusable containers economically and in a climate-friendly way in your own company

In our first blog post, we talked about food waste, CSR and sustainability in the hospitality industry, highlighting important factors that negatively impact the carbon footprint. Besides food and resource waste, plastic consumption is a big factor for the environment. According to the Federal Environment Agency, disposable cup consumption in Germany is 2.8 billion per year.
Since reading this article, almost 1,500 have been consumed throughout Germany!

Who doesn't know what it's like - you're on the way to an appointment and quickly get yourself a coffee or tea in the morning. Unfortunately, this delicious hot beverage produces mountains of plastic waste. But that should change soon. The Bundestag's amendment to the Packaging Act gives hope for sustainability and a plastic-free future. From 2023, restaurateurs (including delivery services) who offer take-away food and drinks must also offer them in reusable packaging. In addition to the Packaging Act, the ban on single-use plastic will already apply in the EU from 03.07.2021, which will encourage a rethink in the catering industry. Thus, many manufacturers of plastic packaging could be forced to raise their prices, as they will have to contribute to the cleaning costs of public places in the future and thus the offer of reusable packaging will quickly make more economic sense.

"I want to make reusable containers the new standard. Customers should be able to easily get their take-away food or to-go drink in environmentally friendly reusable cups or containers." Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze

To ensure that partners are optimally prepared for these changes, we have compiled the most important providers of returnable solutions. In this article, we would like to present different solutions for deposit systems for coffee-to-go. A switch to reusable and deposit cup systems in general can be both economical and sustainable. Returnable cups with a deposit system are dishwasher-safe and can be reused an average of 500 times. Thus, in the long term, they offer a significantly better eco-balance than disposable cups. 

From the 15th coffee-to-go, the reusable cup is cheaper than a disposable cup

RECUP is a sustainable alternative to disposable cups. A RECUP cup can be used up to 1000 times. The principle is very simple: For a deposit of 1€ you get your cup, no app registration is necessary. The Recup is available in 3 sizes: 200, 300 and 400 ml, dishwasher-safe, easily stackable and temperature-resistant up to max. 110 °C. There are matching returnable lids for the deposit cups. The lids are offered by the respective partners as purchase lids. 

With its roughened surface,CUPFORCUP provides a better grip and protection against heat. The cup is available in 2 different sizes (200 and 300 ml). It can be reused at least 500 times, is microwave and dishwasher safe and fits all standard lid sizes. The principle is similar to the Recup - for a €1 deposit, the cup is available at cafés, bakeries, kiosks and petrol stations and can also be returned there.

The cups from Fair Cup are available in four sizes (200 to 500 ml) with matching (reusable) caps or drinking lids, 10 colours and 2 lid variants in 3 colours. This makes them very suitable for events and catering. As with the other two variants, the to-go cups can be rinsed or replaced with fresh cups by service. The uniform system can be found in many bakeries, cafés, petrol stations, etc.. This makes it easier for customers to return the cups to system partners or to return machines.

CupCycle is the first company in Germany to offer consulting. Customers get help in recording & optimising the use of disposable and reusable cups, development and implementation of the deposit cup system. The company distributes both returnable cups for coffee to go and cold drinks, as well as the vending machines if required, independently of the consulting or system development.

The reusable system Vytal offers solutions for deposit-free drinks and food.

If you offer not only drinks-to-go but also take-away food, companies offer a system with 2 solutions. More about this in our next post.

The various systems still differ greatly in terms of area coverage throughout Germany, and this point should be considered separately from the costs, as it is essential for the customer when choosing a reusable solution.

In the area of deposit systems, automation and digitalisation are an important lever that will be indispensable for the new regulations, but also in the fight against climate change. But also in process optimisation, planning and implementation, the automation of business processes can bring success. We would be happy to advise you on this. Make an appointment now or register for our webinar on 24.06.21 - right here.

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More profit.

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Less Food Waste.

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More time for customers.