Annelise de Jong

A take-away system at cafes and restaurants 


The reuse of cups and food containers would make a significant difference and reduce waste and litter as well as excessive production. As take-away is becoming more common on a global scale, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, together with other Swedish companies, decided to try a new takeaway system at cafes and restaurants, to see if people are interested in using reusable coffee mugs and lunchboxes. 

– Our intention with the project was to reduce waste and develop and test a system for reusable take-away packaging for both food and beverages. We wanted to see if people are interested in using reusable coffee mugs and lunchboxes and how such a system would work in practice, says Annelise de Jong, project manager and senior researcher at the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. 

BREKKIE STHLM, Nordish Market and The Coffice are a few of the project partners that have been testing the new take-away system. Most of the partners are cafés and restaurants located at university campuses in Sweden. All containers used during the project were made of plastic and each one of them could be used at least 1,000 times. 

– We were looking for something durable and usable. The type of plastic that we used is 100 per cent recyclable. These containers can later be recycled to make other types of non-food grade products. 

The test phase of the project started in the spring semester of 2020 and ended in the autumn of the same year. The project was funded by the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova. Both the project partners and customers appreciated the new reusable solution. 

– The main setback we had during the project was Corona. We have now managed to start a follow-up project, which is a policy lab. 

The follow-up project is an initiative to understand the policy needed to further scale up take-away systems. IVL wants to include more stakeholders in the future. 

– This project is focusing on the whole value chain, so that we could eventually come up with incentives for a national or even international system. 


IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute conducts applied research and development in close collaboration with the industry and the public sphere. 

Vinnova is a Swedish innovation agency tasked with developing Sweden's innovation capacity.