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Pilot projects: Returning reusable containers everywhere

In the Munich area and in the cities of Mainz and Wiesbaden, the simplified return of reusable to-go containers is to be tested in local restaurants.


In order to make the use of reusable dishes and containers more attractive for end consumers, municipalities are carrying out initial pilot projects. For example, the foundation for digital reusable infrastructure gGmbH ReFrastructure, in cooperation with the municipality of Haar and the locally represented reusable system providers Recup, reCircle and Relevo, as well as the local gastronomy, started a project from July 2023 in which citizens can reportedly return the reusable cups and bowls of these providers in all participating gastronomy businesses. The action will be accompanied by an extensive information and activation campaign. According to ReFrastructure, the lynchpin of this campaign is a specially set up information point where citizens can get information on the topic and also return their containers across all providers. The project is financially supported by the Federal Environment Agency, the German Federal Environmental Foundation and private donors. Scientific support is provided by Kühne Logistics University and the Wuppertal Institute. Other partners are the German Reusable Packaging Association, the Plastic-Free City Initiative and the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association.
In Wiesbaden and Mainz, a similar project of the Reusable To-Go Initiative is to start soon with "Mehrweg Modell Stadt" (Reusable Model City), which is also to enable the return of different reusable To-Go containers to all participating serving points. So far, catering establishments usually only take back the containers they have distributed themselves. According to Reusable To-Go, the participating cafés or restaurants do not incur any additional financial expenses by taking back containers from others. The first awareness-raising measures with action days in Wiesbaden and Mainz are to take place in July and August. In order to encourage restaurants in both cities to participate in the project, the initiative will organise a round table on 17 August 2023. The project is reportedly supported by the Hessian Ministry of the Environment and the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Climate Protection and accompanied scientifically.


  •, (July 4, 2023)
  • Photo: © ReFrastructure

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