The digital reusable system for takeaway food and beverages by the Cologne-based sustainability startup VYTAL was awarded the Blue Angel eco-label today by Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze as part of a "multi-use picnic“ event.
Just in time for the EU-wide ban on disposable plastic, which will come into force on Saturday, 3 July 2021, and will also apply to food containers and coffee cups made of polystyrene, the German Environment Ministry is highlighting the importance of reusable solutions in the fight against disposable packaging waste.
The Blue Angel award ceremony took place during an event called a "multi-use picnic“, to which VYTAL invited selected guests and journalists at the Lentpark ice and swimming stadium in Cologne. The highlight of the picnic was a panel discussion with:
• Svenja Schulze, Federal Environment Minister
• Julia-Verena Lerch (presenter), Team Leader Public Affairs, GS1 Germany
• Pia Schnück, Head of Sustainability, REWE Group
• Dr. Henning Wilts, Head of the Department Kreislaufwirtschaft, Wuppertal Institute
• Georg Voss, system caterer and owner, BentoBox Sushi, Maredo, Owl Food a.o.
• Sven Witthöft, co-founder and managing director, VYTAL Mehrwegsystem
They discussed what a successful path to a future without disposable items might look like – a future in which reusables become the standard in everyday life and are also used at supermarkets and for takeaways and delivery meals.
"My goal is to make reusable the new standard," said Federal Environment Minister Schulze, emphasising that disposable packaging is too short-sighted, regardless of the material: "Takeaway food will be part of everyday life for many even after the pandemic. The vast majority of meals and drinks are still bought in disposable packaging. Even with takeaway food, disposable packaging is still used as standard. This leads to more and more packaging waste – both at home and in the streets and parks."
Sven Witthöft, Co-Founder & Managing Director of VYTAL, emphasised that sustainability and convenience should not be mutually exclusive: "With our deposit-free reusable system VYTAL, we currently offer the most convenient alternative to disposable food packaging for users and partners. VYTAL users can conveniently return their reusable containers to one of the more than 1,300 VYTAL partners in Germany and Austria, as well as in Cologne, via the Gorillas delivery driver when ordering food to their home via the 10-minute delivery service. This way, returning VYTAL dishes is even easier than separating and discarding disposable packaging waste properly.