Obligation for reusable packaging and new approaches in contract catering

qnips offers an integration for reusable dishes

On May 6, 2021, the German parliament passed amendments to the packaging law, as well as an obligation for reusable packaging for the catering industry, which comes into effect in 2023. In this article, we will show you which relevance the topics of reusability and sustainability have for food services and contract catering and which ways the qnips platform offers for a sustainable future.  


350,000 tons of waste due to disposable dishes and to-go packaging   

study by the Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung (GVM) (Society for Packaging Market Research) and NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union) already examined waste production by the catering industry in 2018. In 2017, almost 350,000 tons of waste were generated by the use of disposable tableware, disposable cutlery, straws and to-go packaging. 64% of this waste consisted of paper, cardboard or carton and around 30% of plastic. System catering, restaurants and canteens are responsible for just under 37% of the waste in circulation. So there is no question that for a sustainable future still a lot has to happen. 

Statutory prohibition of single-use plastic products as of July 3rd, 2021  

On July 3, 2021, the prohibition on the production and trade of many single-use plastic products will come into effect across the EU. From that date on, products such as plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks), plastic tableware (plates, bowls), plastic drinking straws and packaging for hot food and drinks made of styrofoam (polystyrene) will be prohibited.
In addition, a new single-use plastic labeling regulation will go into effect for products containing plastic. As of this date, products containing plastic must feature a warning label that has to be clearly integrated into the layout of the packaging. The label consists of a pictogram and a text identifying the respective product category and has been submitted by the EU for use. 

Obligation for reusable packaging for the catering industry from 2023  

The obligation to use reusable packaging in the catering industry is intended to help reduce waste, save raw materials and thus protect the environment. So from 2023, caterers, delivery services and restaurants across the EU will be required to offer reusable dishes for takeaway food and beverages alongside disposable ones. This is intended to encourage the development of sustainable reusable packaging systems and alternative packaging materials.  

The qnips system for a sustainable future in the catering industry  

Legislation and pollution show the relevance and importance of reusable packaging systems for the catering industry. In the future there will be no way around reusable dishes! For us at qnips, the topic of sustainability also plays a major role in the further development of our platform and interfaces and we are always happy to have a dynamic exchange with our partners. Only then can sustainably valuable ideas be created.   

With the interface to the reusable system of VYTAL, qnips offers a first and fast solution for the implementation of reusable packaging. Via an integrated QR code, reusable dishes can easily be borrowed at the food counter, free of charge and without deposit. For more information, visit https://www.vytal.org/  

Looking into the future, company-specific reusable packaging solutions are particularly exciting, both for us and for our clients and their guests. That’s why we’re very pleased to be working with Crafting Future GmbH. With this young company from Hanover, we have gained a competent partner for the manufacturing of reusable products in the food environment. Together, we want to respond to the individual needs and wishes of our customers and help shape a sustainable future. More information at https://www.craftingfuture.de/ 


We can also support you with our qnips platform or do you have questions about other features of qnips? Then it’s best to get in touch today. We are happy to make appointments and answer questions via info@qnips.io or via +49 511 165 899 0.

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