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Reusable packaging to be compulsory from 2023

As of 01.01.2023, the "Mehrwegpflicht " (mandatory offering of reusable packaging) will be established in Germany (VerpackG § 33 & 34). This means that catering businesses (this includes delivery services, caterers and self-service counters) must offer reusable packaging as an alternative to single-use packaging. Disposable plastic food packaging and disposable beverage cups are to be reduced in everyday life. Find out what this means for you in this article.

What does the reusable packaging law entail?

Reusable products are not a novelty. Many cafés have been offering their coffee in reusable cups for some time. What is new, however, is that the offer of these reusable alternatives will be mandatory as of 2023 - and this does not only apply to cups. In practical terms, this means that if a customer orders a coffee-to-go in a reusable cup, you must be able to offer him or her such a cup. Whether you sell one or regulate the whole thing via a deposit system - that's your decision. The only thing that matters is that you offer an alternative to single-use packaging. Also, you are obliged to take back your own reusable containers, which you handed out to your customers.

Reusable packaging law for all containers - not only for cups

This regulation does not only apply to cups. If a customer orders a salad to go in a reusable bowl, there must also be an appropriate container for this. Bowls brought in by customers must also be filled on request. The law applies to the last distributor who filled the packaging. Businesses with a maximum of five employees and a sales area of up to 80 square metres are exempt from this obligation. However, the offer to fill customers' own containers remains valid.

Obligation to provide information

All catering establishments, without exception, are obliged to provide information on the subject of reusable packaging. This includes information boards and signs that refer to the reusable offer and inform about the system of the respective restaurant. Appropriate information must also be visible when ordering online.

We have what you need!

We have been dealing with reusable products for years. Many of our reusable products are exact replicas of our disposable products in appearance. That means they are the same in size or feature. If you use our disposable burger boxes, the changeover to our reusable burger boxes (coming soon!) is hardly noticeable for you. We feel the potential and ecological value of reusable packaging is omnipresent and contemporary. For this reason, we developed our reusable Häppy Box series to meet our high standards. It is 98 per cent bio-based and consists of bio-PP with 40 per cent wood fibres. These are produced as waste material in the wood and paper industry, are FSC certified and come from European forests. The Bio-PP is based on vegetable oils and cooking oil residues, which are converted into bioplastics in a special process. Industrial residues are thereby usefully returned to the cycle of value creation. The reusable containers are antibacterial, dishwasher-safe, microwaveable and recyclable. The reusable Häppy Box series includes, for example, soup containers and our popular Häppy Bowl®. In addition, all Häppy products are made in Germany.

The matching lids allow for a well-fitting close due to their flexibility. The transparency means that the dish is presented in an appealing way and the container does not have to be opened for payment at the till to ensure what is inside (e.g. self-service counter). The lids are durable as well as dishwasher-safe, while also integrating into a functioning recycling stream.

Another example from our reusable range is the reusable cup. We source our reusable cups from a manufacturer who works with a patented technology. The cup has a special insulating function which means that it is still easy to grip with hot drinks without burning your fingers. It is also robust and particularly light compared to other reusable cups. This is convenient, especially in everyday use. In addition, the low material content reduces the product's carbon footprint.

Customise your reusable food packaging!

Due to the obligation to take back your own products, individualising them is particularly attractive for you. This way, everyone knows: this reusable container comes from your company! We therefore offer printing on almost all Häppy articles. This ensures a stronger external perception and also looks professional.

Our journey to reusability is not yet at an end

In the future, we want to continue to search for, find and develop reusable alternatives - some of which will soon be available in the shop. Our goal is to provide you with the appropriate alternatives so that you are well-prepared for the mandatory reusability in 2023 for the german market.