New gastro packaging rule from January
Created: 12/19/2022, 11:05 am
By: Laura Forster
Avoiding waste is the order of the day.
© Robert Gunther
Single-use plastic products have been banned in the hospitality industry for some time.
In 2023 there will be a further tightening: Innkeepers must also offer their customers take-away dishes, i.e. “to go”, including reusable packaging.
But some companies are exempt from the regulation, which is not understood by everyone.
– As of July 2021, restaurants are no longer allowed to distribute their take-out meals to their customers in Styrofoam containers or plastic packaging.
In order to get the flood of plastic waste under control, the EU banned the production of single-use plastic products and operators of cafés, restaurants and bars had to look for alternatives.
Now the next step towards climate neutrality and sustainability follows.
From January 2023, restaurateurs must offer reusable packaging - but single-use products are still allowed.
This was decided by the Bundestag with an amendment to the Packaging Act in order to reduce the around 350,000 tons of waste that is generated every year throughout Germany through disposable packaging.
In the district, too, landlords are currently thinking about which reusable system they want to offer in the future.
"My secretary is just getting a few offers from various deposit systems," says Till Weiß, host of the Augustiner am Wörthsee.
So far, he has passed on “to go” meals to his customers in licensed packaging made from sustainable cardboard.
“We pay a lot of attention to our ecological balance sheet,” says Weiß.
"This year we built a photovoltaic system on the roof and on sunny days we get 50 percent of the electricity for the restaurant from there." The environment is important to the innkeeper, which is why he likes the new regulation.
“However, we only have very few out-of-house orders.
Customers pick up their food about three times a week.” During the pandemic, the number of togo inquiries was significantly higher.
Willy Müller, landlord of Hot Chilli in Gilching, has similar experiences.
“We currently no longer offer 'to go'.
It doesn't pay off, the last bowl was asked for months ago," he says.
Müller is one of the pioneers in the district when it comes to reusable packaging.
Already in 2020 he bought the "Vytal" deposit system.
The whole thing works via an app and QR codes.
The goods are scanned and costs are only incurred if a container has not been returned after a certain period of time.
At “Vytal”, for example, there are 14 days that customers have to return the reusable bowls.
"It doesn't necessarily have to be with us, the packaging can be specified in all participating restaurants." Müller would like supermarkets, for example, to take part at the return location.
“This would simplify the system and make it even more popular.
It's crazy how much waste is produced."
Oliver Lutz, who has two butcher shops in Pöcking and Tutzing, will be offering his lunch dishes in “Rebowls” from January.
"I think it's a great thing, the reusable system is particularly worthwhile for regular customers."
“We decided against the digital variant.
Everyone pays a certain amount for the packaging and is reimbursed afterwards.”
Claudia Aumiller, District Chairwoman of the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association Dehoga, supports restaurateurs in the district with questions about reusable products.
"In the last few months, the hosts had to register on a website and specify which packaging they use." Aumiller doesn't think the new regulation is entirely fair - because it doesn't apply to everyone.
Companies with fewer than five employees and a shop area of less than 80 square meters are exempt from the returnable packaging obligation.
Kiosks, snack bars and small bakeries do not have to change anything from January.
Even Alexander Urban, landlord of the Midgardhaus in Tutzing, cannot understand this exception.
"These are precisely the people for whom the new rule would make sense." "To go" is almost always in demand in his restaurant in the summer months.
"If the customers want to take their food to the lake," says the landlord.
Instead of deposit systems like "Vytal" and "Rebowl", Urban relies on his own crockery.
"We'll give that out for a small fee."