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Smart take-aways! Let’s all adopt reusable tableware for our take-aways

To reduce waste production at source, the State of Geneva, the City of Geneva and SIG Eco21 have joined forces to promote reusable tableware for take-away food. Using reusable containers is a simple and practical solution to make this booming method of consumption, in part driven by the pandemic, more sustainable. 

Campagne Emportons malin

To encourage people to begin adopting good habits, an awareness campaign will be launched today. This action relies in particular on the involvement of numerous establishments offering a take-away service and which are increasingly keen to promote a sustainable approach to their activity.

End of disposable plastic in the catering sector

In every domain, reducing the production of waste is a major issue for our environment and the ecological transition within the canton. That is why the future Cheneviers IV incineration plant, currently under construction, will be more efficient and resized compared to the current facilities, which means that we must reduce our waste production by 25% by 2025, the date on which it will come into service.

The waste management act, adopted on 2 September 2021 by the Grand Council, stipulates the measures designed to achieve these ambitious yet responsible waste management goals. The ban on using disposable plastic articles in restaurants, take-way snack outlets (for example take aways and food trucks) and company canteens, as well as during public events, is just one such measure.

From 1 January 2025, it will no longer be possible to use disposable plastic plates, cutlery, goblets or meal boxes. In the meantime, restaurants will benefit from accompaniment. This obligation applies in equal measure and with the same time frame to the delivery sector. 

The alternative solutions of reusable tableware

Solutions to disposable items exist, but are not always known or used. Beginning today, the campaign reiterates that personal containers are welcome in take-away catering outlets. A study commissioned by the State of Geneva has highlighted the fact that many people feel uncomfortable asking to be served a meal in their own container for fear of the trader refusing to do so.

For people who do not have a container with them when picking up a meal, the alternative is to use returnable containers, which are now provided by numerous partner restaurants. Once the meal is finished, the box is then simply taken back to a partner restaurant and the 10-franc deposit is returned. More and more restaurants around the canton offer this option, which is in line with new consumer habits.

Free distribution to ensure new reflexes are firmly embedded

To encourage the population to adopt these new reflexes, the City of Geneva will make several hundred of these boxes available free of charge at the la Servette and Plainpalais information centres and at the Espace Ville de Genève on Boulevard Carl-Vogt. Furthermore, to illustrate how easy it is to replace disposable containers, the Côté Jardin food truck operated by the Union maraîchère de Genève will visit traditional take-away sites once a week until mid-October, serving dishes solely on reusable tableware. The City of Geneva will provide the containers during each of these actions..

Accompanying committed restaurateurs

Thanks to the commitment of local restaurateurs, the canton currently boasts 120 outlets using reusable tableware for their take-away meals, illustrating the interest shown within the sector for this solution (see the map of partner establishments). This momentum has benefited from accompaniment by SIG Eco21, offering all the advantages of a solution developed by a Swiss company which has demonstrated its utility in numerous cities around Switzerland with quality tableware. To encourage users to replace disposable articles with reusable tableware, the SIG provide traders who are interested with financial support, with the aim of fostering change in a further 100 restaurants every year over the next 3 years. 

A desire to act among consumers

This change is completely in line with what is expected by the population. A study conducted by the State of Geneva revealed that 70% of consumers of take-away meals would like to use less disposable packaging.

The study also showed that this type of consumption is primarily observed in a professional context and that disposable containers are still in the majority, both for meals and for drinks. It is therefore a major issue, given that the average annual cost of litter management in Switzerland with regard to take-away meals and drinks packaging is estimated at 107 million francs for local authorities and public transport.

A food truck promoting reusable tableware

Once a week until mid-October, the Côté Jardin food truck will serve its dishes using solely reusable tableware. So visit the truck between 11.30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to try out the returnable containers, with a free deposit during the campaign!

  • 6 September 2022: Parc des Bastions
  • 13 September 2022: Place Saint-Gervais
  • 20 September 2022: Jardin Anglais
  • 29 September 2022: Plainpalais plain
  • 4 October 2022: Place du Rhône
  • 13 October 2022: Place de la Navigation


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Article modifié le 07.09.2022 à 15:45