Startups and companies from Southeast Asia and Germany shared their ideas and experiences to implement reusable systems for food delivery and takeaway food sales in a GIZ webinar, “Re-Use Systems as new Business Opportunities in the Food Delivery Sector – Enabling Factors and Challenges”, on June 22, 2021.
Many companies in the food delivery sector face challenges establishing reusable systems with the goal of significantly reducing and ideally eliminating packaging waste. For example, how to reverse the logistics to get the package back into circulation once the transport of food is done.
Nevertheless, many companies have already come up with innovative ideas to promote reuse of food delivery and takeaway such as Alas, Grab, and Vytal.
In a GIZ webinar with more than 70 participants, Alas (a meal container solution in Indonesia) spoke about the way they are tackling single-use plastic pollution by creating reuse business models: “Borrow-Use-Return” while Grab (a mobility and food delivery service provider from Southeast Asia) provided insights into how the company incentivized its customers with discounts for doorstep pick up of takeaway containers. Representative from Vytal (a German reusable system operator) talked about their reusable packaging model based on a unique tracking ID on each packaging. After finishing the meal, customer has to return the container at any partner outlet within 14 days. In case the container is not returned, the customer automatically buys the container after 14 days.
At this forum, GIZ also presented a guide for implementing reusable systems in food delivery and takeaway food sales. Reuse can be applied to avoid certain single-use-plastic items in food delivery such as straws, cutlery, and small packages of seasoning.
The event also attracted municipal and national policymakers from Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia who played a key role in pushing forward the new circular economy and consumption patterns. Together with the startups, political measures have been discussed to foster the introduction of reusable packaging solutions. These include financial incentives for reusable packaging, bans on single-use plastic products, use of reusable systems in canteens of government institutions, and support for awareness campaigns.
The GIZ project module CAP SEA (Collaborative Action for Single-Use Plastic Prevention in Southeast Asia) supports reducing plastic waste and promoting reusable packaging systems in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It is part of the global project to support the “Export Initiative for Green Technologies” funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). For more information on CAP SEA project activities, please download the factsheet here.