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REPAID - Reusable Solutions for Gastronomy Promotion of reusable solutions to reduce single-use plastic service packaging through automation of take-back, interventions at the point of sale and possibilities of digitalisation to support user behaviour

Since January 2023, many to-go providers must offer reusable packaging: The Packaging Act requires restaurants, caterers and delivery services to provide a reusable option for plates, bowls and cups, for example. How can reusable systems be designed to be as ecological, consumer-friendly and economical as possible so that they become widely accepted and disposable packaging is drastically reduced? The REPAID project investigates social and technical innovations that increase the use, return and reuse rates of reusable-to-go containers.

The researchers are analysing specific decision-making situations from the point of view of the users and the catering businesses: What factors play a role in the purchase or lending of reusable to-go containers? What motivates consumers to return the containers more quickly? And how can catering businesses be supported – in positioning, dispensing, taking back, processing and distributing?

It is also crucial to integrate reusable systems in the out-of-home sector so that containers from different suppliers can be returned at as many locations as possible. The project is developing an implementation strategy. From a technical point of view, it will be defined how the infrastructure of the systems must be set up and which requirements the individual system components should fulfil. The practical partners involved in the project will test and implement the technical innovations.

At the same time, the researchers will develop innovative incentive systems based on new scientific findings on the behaviour and wishes of consumers in order to strengthen acceptance and induce changes in behaviour. In this way, companies can successfully implement the mandatory reusable packaging in the catering sector. With its integrated approach, REPAID makes an important contribution to establishing a successful reuse system in Germany.

IÖW Project Team