Electrolux Professional Group: Supporting Circular Packaging Innovations for 2024 legislation
Following the planned introduction of a new Swedish law which will require restaurants and cafés to offer a reusable alternative to disposable packaging, several leading companies have already began collaborating on the delivery of innovative circular packaging solutions.
To reduce the consumption of single-use plastics within the EU, many countries around Europe have already introduced laws that limit their use. In Sweden, the goal is to decrease the consumption of disposable materials by 50 percent in 2026 compared to 2022 levels, and a new law will come into force on January 1, 2024.
From that date, restaurants, cafés, and shops that currently sell food or drink in disposable packaging must also offer reusable packaging as an alternative. The legislation will cover all sites, ranging from large hamburger chains to smaller catering establishments, that both serve food on site and for takeaway.
“As a company offering professional equipment for restaurants and commercial kitchens, we saw this as a good opportunity for the industry to meet and discuss how to become more innovative”, says Viktoria Roos, Open Innovation Leader at Electrolux Professional Group. “To capitalize on the conversation, we hosted a half-day seminar called ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Innovation Day’ at our Stockholm HQ at the end of May.”
The program included two panel discussions. The first focused on the pilot project from Reitan Convenience, the franchise company behind, among other things, Pressbyrån and 7-Eleven. The pilot project, which was implemented at 20 of Pressbyrån’s stores in southern Sweden, saw all coffee customers offered a reusable plastic cup that could be refilled several times. The project was conducted in conjunction with the forest industry group Stora Enso and &Repeat, a company that works for more circular solutions in the restaurant and café’ industry.
During the seminar, the participants were shown an example of how the packaging of the future could look and function. At the beginning of the day, they were each also assigned a reusable plastic cup, which was then returned at the end of the event for cleaning in one of Electrolux Professional’s commercial dishwashers.
“It is great that different systems are now being tested so that the companies can evaluate which ones work best. However, the ultimate goal should be to have a common system – or as few as possible”, says Nils Johansson, Researcher at the Department for Strategic Sustainability Studies at KTH Royal University of Technology.
According to Johannson: “Co-operation is the only way forward. Co-operation means everything when you are trying to establish new, circular solutions”.
In the second discussion, Clara Bergström, Customer Marketing Manager at Coca-Cola, and Henrik Nerell, Sustainability Manager at McDonald‘s, talked about their respective circular pilot projects. Coca-Cola has, among other things, offered reusable soda cups at the Gröna Lund amusement park in Stockholm; while McDonald’s has recently started offering similar reusable cups at some of its Stockholm restaurants.
“Electrolux Professional Group is committed to developing sustainable solutions to facilitate the greater take-up of reusable packaging among hospitality outlets”, says Fabio Paganin, Category Director Ware Washing at Electrolux Professional Group. “By working with partners such as Coca-Cola in Sweden, we can effectively reduce waste in the foodservice industry while maintaining an outstanding customer experience.”
“We are glad to have received such positive feedback regarding the need for forums to discuss and share both success stories and challenges”, says Camilla Monefeldt Kirstein, President of BA Food Europe at Electrolux Professional Group. “It is inspiring to meet others in the industry who have exciting new ideas on how we can all work together to achieve a circular economy. Collaboration is everything, and we look forward to similar events in the future.”
Electrolux Professional Group: supporting the activation of circular solutions for the foodservice industry.