In the future, customers will have the right to receive their to-go food and drinks in reusable packaging.

This is what the obligation to offer multiple ways says, which will apply from January 1, 2023.

The Bundestag passed this in May 2021.

What do the new requirements mean, who do they apply to and what will change for the catering industry?

An overview:

What applies from January 1, 2023?

From 2023 onwards, restaurants, bistros and cafés that sell takeaway food and drinks are also obliged to offer their products in reusable packaging.

According to the Federal Environment Ministry, disposable plastic packaging in particular should be replaced.

In the future, for example, corresponding reusable cups must be available for all sizes of a to-go drink.

However, the same product in reusable packaging must not be more expensive than in disposable packaging.

However, it is permitted to issue the reusable packaging against a deposit, which is paid back when it is returned.

Compliance is monitored by the state authorities.

The federal states decide for themselves whether they hand over the tasks to municipalities.

Who is the amendment for?

The new obligation must be observed by all those who sell take-away packaging filled with food or drinks to consumers: restaurants, cafés, bistros, but also canteens, petrol stations, supermarkets or catering companies.

Exceptions to this are smaller shops such as snack bars, late night shops and kiosks, in which a maximum of five employees work and which at the same time have a shop area of ​​no more than 80 square meters.

In these establishments, however, customers have the option of having their food and drinks filled in reusable containers they have brought with them.

According to the Federal Environment Ministry, this exception does not apply to chains such as train station bakeries,

What does the change mean for the catering industry?

According to the Dehoga Hotel and Restaurant Association, affected businesses are obliged to inform guests about the possibility of receiving goods in reusable packaging.

This must be made clearly visible at the point of sale.

In the case of a delivery, this information must be printed on the flyer, for example.

According to the association, the new obligation is associated with a lot of effort and costs for the industry.

"For the vast majority of companies, the mandatory provision of reusable containers means additional burdens," said a Dehoga spokeswoman.

Anyone who violates the new regulations risks a fine of up to 10,000 euros.

How does the system with reusable tableware work?