Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Starting December 1st 2020 SwapBox will launch its circular food packaging service for restaurants in Amsterdam. SwapBox' reusable food packaging will be available at a minimum of 10 restaurants in Amsterdam. The SwapBox team cannot be more excited to start this project which has already been in the works for 6 months. The first three months after the launch will serve as a pilot where all the processes will be tested and evaluated. There is a clear intention to carry on and expand after the pilot. The pilot will focus mostly on takeaway meals but SwapBox will also provide delivery in limited numbers.
We know that SwapBox is going to replace disposable food packaging with reusable food packaging. But exactly how will this work? The very good news is that for restaurant guests, the use of SwapBox will be 100% free. This means that there is also no room for deposits in the SwapBox system. The only tool needed to use SwapBox is an account in the app.
When a SwapBox user walks into one of the affiliated restaurants and orders his takeaway meals all he or she needs to do is give their email address and their personal pin code. The pin code has been chosen by the user when registering in the SwapBox app. This allows the restaurant to transfer the reusable food packaging to the user's account, who will have two weeks to return the SwapBoxes. The packaging can be returned at any of the affiliated restaurants or drop-off points. If a user does not return the packaging within the two weeks their account will be blocked until the SwapBoxes are returned and a small fee is paid for the late return. To be clear, SwapBox would rather not charge customers a fee for returning SwapBoxes late, however, to stimulate the circularity of the SwapBox concept it is seen as a necessary tool in the start.
The official SwapBox App
The innovation that SwapBox is bringing to Amsterdam is its interactive mobile web application that allows both restaurants and its guests to work together to create a zero-waste food packaging system. The application which is currently under development will serve as an intermediary between SwapBox, restaurants and guests. With the application, guests will be able to see which SwapBoxes they currently have and when they need to be returned to one of the drop-off points. Both guests and restaurants will be able to track their plastic waste savings and more statistics in the SwapBox app. More details on the application will be announced in the near future.
New SwapBox packaging
To struggle to find reusable, sustainable, esthetic and resistant packaging has been one of the hardest aspects of setting up the pilot. However, after a lot of testing SwapBox has found the perfect fit to start the pilot. There will be three sizes that restaurants have access to, small (200ml), medium (1000ml) and large (2000ml). The new SwapBoxes are dishwasher, microwave safe and are of course fully recyclable. One of the reasons SwapBox choose this packaging is because the entire production process is situated in Belgium which makes SwapBoxes supply-chain a lot shorter and more resistant to global events and changes. To date, SwapBox has not released any content on what the SwapBoxes look like. The intention is to do this in the coming weeks.
What is reusable food packaging from SwapBox without its companion the reusable bag which is produced from recycled PET bottles? The SwapBag will be available part of the pilot as well and will serve as a substitute for the disposable paper or plastic bag. Using the SwapBox will be the same and as easy as the use of SwapBoxes.
To conclude, the SwapBox team is very proud to announce its launch and is really excited to start this journey together will all participating restaurants and future users of SwapBox.