Small businesses must accept brought-in containers
The new law applies to all establishments with more than 80 square meters of retail space and more than five employees. Smaller vendors do not have to provide reusable containers, but they have another obligation that will help reduce the waste problem: They must provide their food and beverages in cups and bowls brought in by customers if requested. The operators must also visibly point out this possibility of a very personal ” reusable system”. Of course, they then assume no responsibility for whether the customer containers are suitable for transporting the food.
If fast food fans keep their word, the reusable system law is likely to be a success. In a study conducted by the HEM service station chain with 2182 participants, 76 percent of those surveyed said they thought the mandatory reusable containers made sense and were willing to make a little extra effort to protect the environment. Only seven percent of respondents found a return system too burdensome. The study also found that just under a quarter of Germans consume drinks or food to go at least once a week. At the peak of the popularity scale are coffee or tea, sandwiches, baked goods, soft drinks or cocktails, followed by hamburgers, kebabs, sausages or French fries.