The German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) is supporting the “mehrweg.einfach.machen” project. The aim is in particular to improve the coordination of different reusable systems.
The German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) is one of the largest foundations in Europe. The foundation’s mission is to promote “innovative, exemplary and solution-oriented projects for the protection of the environment”. This now includes a project entitled “mehrweg.einfach.machen” under the leadership of the Berlin-based social enterprise “ProjektTogether”. Cooperation partners are the German Reusable Association and the environmental organization WWF.
The DBU’s support has a volume of around 300,000 euros. “Reusable must become the standard in the to-go sector,” says DBU Secretary General Alexander Bonde. “We want to open the door to a reusable alliance and give further impetus to the Circular Economy, the comprehensive circular economy.” The funded project could become an innovative model for waste avoidance and resource conservation nationwide, he said.
Comprehensive strategy instead of isolated solutions
It is true that Germany already has reusable systems for beverages, dairy products and transport crates, for example. But in parallel, suppliers are developing additional reuse models for other products such as oils, cosmetics, dry goods or products from the to-go sector – but mainly as isolated solutions and not coordinated with each other. “There is a lack of an efficient, area-wide strategy,” Bonde emphasizes. In the reusable alliance, mechanisms are being explored to harmonize the reusable systems – for example, to coordinate collection and rinsing logistics. Another task is to raise consumer awareness of the need for a change of direction.
The consortium of project participants relies on a comprehensive network with a great deal of expertise. In addition to companies and startups that offer reusable innovations, it also includes so-called final distributors with direct customer contact – including restaurants, food retailers, and delivery services. Also involved are dishwashing suppliers, logistics and recycling companies, as well as associations, politics, science and society. The broad-based alliance will begin its work in April. In the first phase, which runs until the end of 2023, the focus will be on development and implementation; next year, the main issue will be how to measure and scale the processes.
Information on the project is available at mehrweg-einfach-machen.de.