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Reusable food and drinks

Stand: 28.05.2024

Restaurateurs must also offer takeaway food and drinks in reusable packaging from January 1, 2023.

According to the Packaging Act, from January 1, 2023, restaurants, canteens, hot counters, bakeries, etc. that offer ready-to-eat takeaway food in disposable plastic packaging must also provide customers with the option of reusable packaging. In particular, they should replace single-use plastic packaging. Reusable packaging must not be more expensive. Customers must be made aware of this option with clearly visible information signs. It is permitted to charge a deposit, which is refunded when the reusable container is returned.

There is a special regulation for disposable cups. If businesses use disposable cups for drinks, they must generally offer a reusable alternative - regardless of the material.

In the interests of waste prevention, consumers should opt for reusable packaging and avoid disposable packaging.

Businesses affected:

  • Restaurants, gastronomy
  • (Ice cream) cafés, bistros, snack bars
  • Canteens, canteens
  • Bakeries, butchers, retail counters and salad bars
  • Delivery services, mobile catering businesses, etc.

Smaller businesses such as snack bars or kiosks with fewer than 5 employees and a maximum store area of 80 square meters are exempt from this regulation. However, these businesses must then allow customers to use containers they have brought with them and must also indicate this option.

What needs to be considered:Large businessesSmall businesses
Type of businessMore than five employees and sales area larger than 80 m²Maximum of five employees and sales area up to 80 m²
Offer option per type of businessMandatory:
Own reusable system or
Pool reusable system
Filling of customers' containers at their request
Hygiene and take-back per type of business
  • Obligation to take back the reusable packaging issued
  • Compliance with hygiene regulations
  • No responsibility for the suitability of the containers brought in for transportation
  • Compliance with hygiene regulations
Requirement of equal opportunitiesNo financial advantage for food and drinks in disposable packaging
Obligation to provide informationAll businesses must provide clearly visible and legible information about the reusable option.

Related topics



Food and drinks to go - without disposable waste. Available in many Erlangen cafés, bakeries and restaurants.

Logo of the Stattplan Erlangen.

Stattplan Erlangen - the fair city map

In the Stattplan you will find fair and sustainable places in Erlangen city center. Clearly grouped, you can find retailers with fair trade products, repair options, packaging arms, etc.

Circular Economy and Waste Consulting Department


Schuhstraße 40
91052 Erlangen


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