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New returnable glass system for Münster and the Münsterland region
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Press release

New returnable glass system for the catering industry

City and Münsterland e.V. initiate innovative returnable glass system/ Münster Student Union starts / more partners sought

The Studierendenwerk Münster is launching a new returnable glass system at the beginning of March. Initially, the Mensa am Ring will offer take-away meals in high-quality, unbreakable and lightweight glass containers. At the beginning of April, the Studierendenwerk's other refectories and bistros will follow suit with glass takeaway containers. From 2023, restaurants, caterers, canteens and delivery services will be obliged to offer reusable containers as an alternative to disposable plastic packaging for take-away food and drinks. The city of Münster and Münsterland e.V. are already on their way with an innovative, smart and sustainable solution: a glass reusable system.
The idea for the system was developed by the city of Münster together with the German Hotel and Restaurant Association of Westphalia. (DEHOGA Westphalia) and the Studierendenwerk Münster in cooperation with Münsterland e.V..

Signs for climate protection
The partners now want to promote the system throughout the region and are looking for further cooperation partners. Under the motto "GLAS? Sure!", the initiators are calling on restaurateurs and canteen operators to join in. "This system launches a pilot project that is so far unique in Germany," says Markus Lewe, Lord Mayor of the City of Münster. "It avoids waste, protects the climate and guarantees a sustainable use of resources. Now it's important that many gastronomic businesses join in."

Dr. Kai Zwicker, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Münsterland e.V. and District Administrator of the Borken district, emphasises: "We can be pioneers as a city and region. This will only work if the glass reusable system is used across the board and the use and return of the reusable containers are as simple as possible. Only then will it also be accepted by the customers."

The way the new glass reusable system works is simple: restaurants are supplied with reusable glass dishes and serve their food and drinks in them. With the help of an app, guests scan the QR codes on the dishes and borrow them free of charge and deposit. The dishes are also returned by scanning them at all participating establishments. After the dishes have been cleaned, they can be handed out again. The caterer only pays a fee per loan.

Glass is the unique selling point and success factor of the system: after much research, discussions with restaurateurs, climate protection managers, system providers and, last but not least, their own trials, the initiators decided on this material. Glass bowls have many advantages over reusable plastic containers: glass is transparent and the value of the dishes is visible. The specially tempered glass is durable, scratch-resistant, unbreakable, 30 percent lighter than comparable glass bowls, easily stackable and leak-proof during transport. It is hygienic and colour-neutral, does not absorb odours or tastes, is resistant to temperature differences of less or more than 130 degrees, ovenproof, guarantees more than 2,000 rinses, is 100 per cent recyclable, can be recycled an infinite number of times and is thus the most climate-friendly type of reusable.
Up to now, no major reusable system provider has relied on this material, but mostly on plastic solutions, which are reusable but, especially when used with a wide variety of dishes, must be quickly returned to a recycling cycle because they are no longer attractive. In addition, in the case of plastics, new food containers may no longer be made from the recyclate, so that a closed material cycle cannot occur. Relevo, one of the larger reusable system providers, is so far the only company that has dared to implement a glass reusable system. It has now taken the first step and, together with the premium glass manufacturer Arcoroc, is offering the first app-based glass reusable solution in Münster and in the Münsterland region at the same conditions as plastic reusable systems throughout Germany. Arcoroc has developed the containers, which meet the special requirements for tightly sealed and environmentally friendly containers for use in a rental system.

Interested parties can find out more about the system and how it works at online information events on 10 March from 11 am to 12 pm and on 17 March from 10 am to 11 am. Please register via the website, which also provides further information on the returnable glass system.

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© Münsterland e.V./Anja Tiwisina
Kathrin Strotmann
Eva Stannigel
© Münsterland e.V./Anja Tiwisina
Eva Stannigel
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