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Denmark partners with Tomra for takeaway coffee cup DRS in Aarhus


Denmark partners with Tomra for takeaway coffee cup DRS in Aarhus

The municipality of Aarhus, Denmark, is collaborating with circularity technology company Tomra to establish a deposit return system (DRS) for takeaway packaging in the city center. 

Source: PackagingInsights

The collaboration agreement for a three-year trial will initially focus on takeaway cups with a deposit. The plan is to expand the system to cover all types of takeaway packaging, ensuring a holistic, convenient and sustainable system.

In the search for more convenience, we have created waste mountains. In Europe alone, an estimated 60-70 billion single-use takeaway containers are used per year, and most of the packaging collected today is not recycled, so there is much to do to enable a world without waste. A disposable cup is used for an average of 15 minutes before it ends up as waste. If we reuse the cup instead of throwing it away, we save the earth’s scarce resources and reduce waste.

Geir Sæther, senior vice president circular economy at Tomra

Scaling reuse

In Denmark, consumers pay a deposit for drinks in cans or bottles with a deposit mark which can be refunded by returning empty cans and bottles using reversed vending machines installed nationwide. 

With the Tomra trial, Aarhus intends to expand the DRS to takeaway coffee cups in the city center.

Aarhus must dare to be frontrunners and test new green solutions. We are happy to have found a business partner who shares our ambitions and visions and wants to invest in a system that can reduce our consumption of disposable packaging significantly.

Nicolaj Bang, alderman for technical services and environment at Aarhus Municipality

The trial will offer consumers a reusable cup that they can return through the specially designed Tomra RVM reverse vending machine to be installed in the city.

We are excited to be able to develop and test a deposit system to enable the shift from single-use packaging to reusable packaging and are very happy to begin our first pilot in Aarhus. We aim to create a system which makes it as easy as possible for people to reuse their packaging and can also meet the wishes and needs of the local business community.

Geir Sæther, senior vice president circular economy at Tomra

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