Deposit take-away system

In a nutshell

The aim of this tool is to reduce food waste and packaging waste at the same time. Instead of creating bio-waste or deploying single-use materials like aluminium foil, Styrofoam boxes, or plastic bags for leftovers, caterers offer robust, reusable boxes for use on a deposit basis.

The tool helps users get started with the implementation of a system for replacing single-use packaging with reusable containers. The system could be implemented by catering companies or by public kitchens, and aligns with policies for climate protection and the circular economy.

Necessary Steps

  • The work starts by assigning a person to be in charge of planning and organising the new deposit takeaway system.
  • Develop a concept for the deposit takeaway system and discuss it with the kitchen team.
  • Determine the necessary size, number, and functionality (i.e. suitability for dishwashers, freezing, and microwave use) of the boxes.
  • Look for suitable suppliers and procure the boxes.
  • Determine the deposit price.
  • Organise the workflow in the kitchen and serving area to meet the requirements of the new system.
  • Develop promotional material for the new system like flyers, posters, and emails.
  • Pilot the system and adjust it accordingly.
  • Agree with management about the costs for the system, a timeline for implementation, testing, and methods for monitoring success or failure.

More Issues To Consider

  • The boxes can be imprinted with the company/ public authorities’ logo.
  • Separate, smaller boxes for sauces/dressings should be integrated in the larger boxes.
  • Customers can use the boxes for taking leftovers with them.
  • The canteen can also use the box system for selling food resources as takeaways (at a reduced rate).
  • Consider whether returned boxes would impact on the working routines of the kitchen.
  • Be sure to consider food hygiene regulations and labelling requirements.
  • An example estimate to help start the project might include 30 boxes for 400 employees with a 10 Euro deposit.

Further Information

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