June 27, 2018 3:48 pm Published by

Food to go? Bye bye to single-use containers!

Zero Waste Europe released today its latest case study on Recircle, a Swiss social enterprise that is determined to put an end to the flood of single-use containers for take-away food. The publication reports that only two years from the foundation, more than 400 restaurants across Switzerland are already using Recircle’s 70,000 reusable meal boxes with a deposit. Recircle’s scheme is not just preventing waste and litter but also saving money for cities and restaurants, while coming at zero cost to consumers.

The case study illustrates how a small social enterprise can push for a large-scale and quick transition from disposable to reusable containers. According to Ferran Rosa, Zero Waste Europe’s Waste Policy Officer, “The case of Recircle shows that there are no more excuses not to ditch single-use containers when reusable alternatives are available, and they are easy to use, more sustainable and cheaper”.

The publication also highlights some of the challenges that reusable schemes still have to face in order to fully develop, such as the lack of level playing field with regards to disposable containers. Among these, the fact that single-use containers tend to be free of charge for customers, which does not encourage them to rethink their habits. “Visible charges, levies or taxes have proved to be very effective in driving habits change, reducing the use of disposables  and boosting reusables. It is time to apply what we learned from plastic bags to take-away containers, and stop the flood of avoidable single-use packaging”, added Rosa.

This document is part of a new series of case studies where Zero Waste Europe displays change-making initiatives from cities, companies and individuals that are challenging and transforming current business models.

To read the case study, click here.

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