Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke: "We need a real turnaround in the way we deal with packaging. Consumption has been on the rise for years. The new obligation to offer reusable packaging can make a decisive contribution here. Many restaurants and cafés, but also caterers and canteens, already made the switch at an early stage. No one has to tolerate throwaway plastic for takeaway food or drinks any longer, because consumers now always have an environmentally friendly alternative. Reusable systems like "regood" work and offer great added value for the environment. This is also shown by today's Blue Angel award. When reusable products bear the Blue Angel, it's clear that they are durable and environmentally friendly."
On 1 January 2023, the cooperative food retailer EDEKA launched the "regood" reusable system nationwide. EDEKA placed great emphasis on various sustainability aspects when developing the containers, as a result of which "regood" has now been awarded the Blue Angel for particularly environmentally friendly products. With the "regood" deposit system for reusable packaging, EDEKA offers an attractive solution for its customers to reduce packaging waste when buying fresh meals and drinks, such as at the salad bar or hot counter. The recyclable cups and bowls in different sizes and attractive designs are made in Germany and suitable for microwave and dishwasher. They are handed out in participating EDEKA and Marktkauf stores in exchange for a deposit. After use, the containers can be returned there for a refund of the deposit value. In the stores, the containers are cleaned in accordance with food hygiene guidelines and can be reused more than 500 times. Avoiding packaging waste has been a focus of the EDEKA Group for years. If avoidance is not possible, EDEKA relies, among other things, on reusable instead of disposable. This is also the case with the newly introduced "regood" reusable system for takeaway consumption.
Reusable pool systems are particularly effective for environmental protection because customers can return the containers at many locations. This makes it easier for them to opt for the reusable alternative, and the containers can be returned more easily and therefore reused more frequently. Catering businesses also benefit from pool systems in which they can participate. For example, they do not have to purchase their own reusable containers and they benefit from the reputation and experience of the reusable supplier. They can also save money, because packaging made from disposable plastic is usually more expensive than the reusable solution.
With the award of the Blue Angel for the reusable systems for takeaway food and beverages by "regood", there is another demonstrably particularly environmentally friendly reusable alternative to take away. The Blue Angel guarantees that products and services labelled with it have a lower environmental impact than conventional products and services - with the same usability and quality. The Blue Angel eco-label has been certifying "reusable systems to-go for food and beverages" (DE-UZ 210) for some time. The aim is to reduce single-use containers and strengthen environmentally friendly reusable systems. The criteria include requirements for the containers themselves as well as for the suppliers. For instance, materials that are harmful to the environment and health must be avoided in the production of reusable containers and lids. Furthermore, the containers must have a service life of at least 500 wash cycles, the lids of 100 wash cycles, be taken back at the end of their service life and be recycled.
Since 1 January 2023, anyone selling takeaway food and beverages is obliged to offer their customers a reusable container as an alternative to disposable plastic containers and disposable cups. The rules are relaxed for small businesses with up to five employees and up to 80 square metres of sales space. Here, only reusable containers brought by the customers have to be filled. This is intended to reduce the consumption of such disposable containers, which has increased significantly in recent years - most recently even more as a result of the pandemic-related restrictions on the catering industry. With every reusable use, single-use plastic is avoided.
Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment press release 004/23