&Repeat, partners testing reusable cups in ‘open environment’
Stockholm-based climate technology startup &Repeat, Finnish forest-product manufacturer Stora Enso, and Swedish convenience store chain Pressbyrån are running a pilot project to test reusable cups on consumers in an “open environment.
Customers across 19 Pressbyrån stores in southern Sweden can opt for reusable cups when purchasing hot beverages, with Pressbyrån offering 200 and 400-ml cups in those stores.
Customers register their names in an app when using a reusable cup, which can be returned in any of the listed Pressbyrån stores. The stores will clean the cups and use them again for the next customers.
Stora Enso’s business development manager of circular products & services Nathalie Kalivas Jönsson said the project would help participants understand the feasibility of operating a circular system in an open setting.
“Will customers be excited or not?,” said Jönsson. “Which are the big challenges, and will this be the most sustainable way of handling take-away food? We don’t know but are eager to find out!”
This pilot project is running from April to June, serving as a preparation for an upcoming nationwide regulation set to be implemented in January next year. The law will require restaurants or stores that sell more than 150 takeaways daily to offer reusable packaging as an alternative to the single-use one.
According to the law, reusable packaging must be a part of a rotation system in which customers return the packaging after each use. It also ensures that customers can choose between reusable and single-use packaging.
Gothenburg has implemented the system this year, with collaboration from the municipality and numerous food establishments in the city. Like the &Repeat-Stora Enso-Pressbyrån pilot project, Gothenburg uses an app to monitor the cycle of reusable packaging.
According to &Repeat, Swedes use two billion takeaway containers annually, but less than 15 percent are recycled. It also claims that increasing the recycling rate of food containers to the same rate of PET bottles, which is around 85 percent, can reduce emissions by 100,000 tonnes.
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