The Estonian circular economy company, Bringpack, has launched a pilot project at the Tallinn Baltic Station Market with the aim to test a new reuse service – customers can buy food at selected eateries in a reusable food container and return it later to a new collection station installed in the market building.
According to Bringpack, the idea behind the initiative is the wish to make the sustainable and waste-free life easy and accessible. Initially, five diners at the Baltic Station Market will participate in the pilot project during April 2021 – Baojaam, Biomarket, Tokumaru, Veg Machine and VLND Burger.
When purchasing take-away food from these diners, the customers can choose between a disposable packaging container and the Bringpack’s reusable food packaging box. The price of a Bringpack container is €0.84 – out of which €0.24 covers the washing up and €0.60 is a deposit that will be refunded to the customer’s account by contactless payment when the box is returned. The food packaging container must be returned to the collection station, installed at the main entrance of the market.
Rasmus Rask, the founder of Bringpack, said in a statement that the reusable box was more environmentally friendly than a disposable food container that causes more trash. “After a meal, [the box] is not trash but more like a container that can be returned to our collecting station,” he said. After washing up, the packaging starts a new cycle and this process is repeated at least 50 times, thus eliminating the use of at least 50 disposable boxes.
During the pilot project, Bringpack will test how user friendly the innovative collecting station is, how suitable the food packaging boxes are and whether people are willing and ready to use and pay for the recycling service.
The collecting stations were developed by another Estonian startup, Cuploop. “Cuploop stations are designed to help reduce the large number of disposable dishes that come with buying food or at big events. We think people have been ready for such a step for a long time and we are trying to contribute to the change with our technical solution,” Lauri Luik, the representative of Cuploop, said in a statement.
The founders of Bringpack are Rasmus Rask and Priit Mikelsaar, whose previous experience in circular economy dates back in 2004, when they co-founded Re-Use Centre – an NGO that offers people the opportunity to both donate unused items as well as purchase second-hand items at an affordable price.
Cover: Bringpack has launched a pilot project at the Tallinn Baltic Station Market – customers can buy food at selected eateries in a reusable food container and return it later to a new collection station installed in the market building. Photo by Bringpack.