How do you implement reusable packaging in the hospitality industry?

A lunchbox for sandwiches or a muesli cup for yogurt and fruit are some examples of reusable products that have been in use for a long time. If it is up to the European Union, many (hospitality) businesses will eventually switch to reusable products as well. The reason for this is the large amount of plastic from disposable packaging in seas and oceans. The goal is therefore to only use reusable products or plastic-free disposables in the hospitality industry, as well as at festivals and events. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of reusable products and how you can ultimately use them in practice.

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What are the benefits of reusable products?

We all know the benefits of plastic-free disposables, but what about reusable packaging? Reusable packaging offers significant environmental benefits when used correctly throughout their entire lifespan because there is much less chance it will end up as litter. As a business owner, it is wise to choose plastic-free or reusable packaging now, as it offers the following advantages:

1. You are prepared for the future

To reduce plastic litter, all catering establishments must offer a reusable option, charge a small fee for plastic-containing disposable packaging (similar to plastic bags), or provide a "bring your own" option starting in July 2023. It is wise to start thinking now about which steps you want to take within your business. Which type of packaging best suits your needs and products? By researching alternatives to plastic disposable packaging now, you can avoid making hasty decisions later.

2. Positive and sustainable image

Research has shown that consumers have a more positive attitude towards companies that contribute to a sustainable world. If you want to respond to this, it is important that you are ahead of the legislation. This is how you build a green reputation. By already opting for reusable coffee cups or meal containers, you show that you not only follow the rules, but that sustainability is also an important part of your business operations. By now saying goodbye to plastic (containing) disposable packaging, your company distinguishes itself from other companies. Show the consumer that you want to contribute to a green future and communicate clearly about this choice, for example on your website or via social media channels.

3. Employee retention

If employers are not sufficiently concerned with sustainability, this is a good reason for some people to leave their employer. Students and starters in particular attach great value to working for a sustainable employer. Switching to reusable packaging therefore contributes to employee retention. Curious about more ways to tackle sustainability in the workplace? You read it here.

How do you integrate reusable products in a catering business?

As you can see, the switch to reusable products brings many benefits. Serve a pasta pesto in a reusable meal bowl or coffee and tea in reusable cups. Super good for the environment, but how do you integrate them into your restaurant, food truck or delivery and takeaway business? Find out below.

1. Traditional system

This system is suitable for situations where customers consume their purchased dishes at the location itself. Consumers receive the food in reusable packaging, enjoy their meal and then immediately return it. This system adapts traditional restaurant practices to a fast food environment by using durable and robust materials.

2. Introduce a deposit scheme

In this process, you let consumers pay a small contribution (deposit) for the food packaging when they pick up meals or have them delivered. As soon as they return the packaging, they will receive the deposit back.

3. Offering reusable products for sale

If customers do not carry a bring-your-own option, they will purchase the most appropriate packaging from a range of reusable options that you offer. They can then eat their food on site or take it with them and do not have to worry about returning the packaging. Plus, they have a bring-your-own option for the next time they pick up food!

Reusable packaging or plastic-free disposables

The above ways are all effective for making the switch to reusable products. Don't want to choose just one option? Fortunately, that is not necessary. Go for a hybrid approach where you combine multiple options! Prefer not to use reusable packaging? Then make sure you have plastic-free disposables or that you ask for a small amount at the time of issue. Regardless of the choice you make, remember that customers always have the right to bring their own cup or container.

Order reusable packaging from TakeAware

At TakeAware you have come to the right place for buying reusable products and plastic-free disposables. In our digital shelves you will not only find reusable cutlery, but also meal bowls from Mepal in various sizes and colors. We also offer a reusable coffee cup, ideal for the office or for coffee to go! The products can be used again and again and are 100% recyclable. Order on working days before 4 p.m. and you will receive all products the next day, at low shipping costs.