SWEDEN – Finland-based company Stora Enso and convenience store Pressbyrån have joined forces with Swedish startup &Repeat to launch a pilot project to test reusable coffee cups.

Stora Enso said the latest pilot marks the beginning of the first reuse project in Sweden in an ‘open environment’, which is aiming to gear up for the new law to be introduced in January 2024. The new law aims to cut down the use of single-use packaging.

Through the pilot project, Stora Enso expects to understand what will be needed for a system like this, to be ready when the new law is enforced.

The new law that will enter into force in Sweden in January 2024 aims to reduce single-use packaging.

According to the law, all restaurants or stores that sell more than 150 units of food or drink takeaway in disposable packaging per day must be able to offer reusable packaging as an alternative.

As part of the pilot effort, Stora Enso, Reitan Convenience in Sweden and &Repeat will allow customers to choose a reusable cup when purchasing a hot beverage from Pressbyrån convenience stores. Customers can get these cups in two different sizes 200ml and 400ml.

If the customer opts to use a reusable cup, they will need to register the usage of the cup in a mobile app using their contact number.

Once the customer finishes their drink, they will be eligible for returning the cup at one of Pressbyrån’s stores by re-registering their usage of that cup and scanning a QR code to drop it in a container.

All the collected cups are then cleaned and reused for the same purpose again in a circular system.

Stora Enso circular products and services business development manager Nathalie Kalivas Jönsson said: “We are doing this to learn. How hard is it to have a circular system in an open environment? Will customers be excited or not?

“Which are the big challenges, and will this be the most sustainable way of handling takeaway food? We don’t know but are eager to find out!”

Early this month, the Finnish company launched a circular packaging material, Tambrite Aqua+, for frozen and chilled food packaging.

According to Stora Enso, Aqua+ is a new water-based dispersion coating that delivers the necessary protection and food safety.

The dispersion coating reduces the use of plastic, which is more prone to costs incurred by packagers, like extended producer responsibility (EPR) fees.

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