Tiffin: Brussels-based food initiative connecting take-out customers with restaurants accommodating reusable tiffin containers

Brussels-based food initiative Tiffin is helping environmentally-conscious consumers in the city to enjoy take-outs while helping the environment by teaming them up with restaurants that are willing to accommodate reusable containers.

The idea is that people sign up with the Tiffin project online, purchase a stainless steel container that comes in three styles – a plate, a small bowl or large bowl – and use this whenever they buy takeout food from participating restaurants. As a Tiffin member, consumers get a 5% discount on their meal.

The Brussels initiative is inspired by the food packaging system used in India, where thousands of people get meals delivered to their workplaces in stackable metal boxes – called tiffins – every day.

Tiffin’s mission is to decrease the packaging waste generate by the takeout business and change consumer behaviour. In Brussels, restaurants produce 32,000 tonnes of waste each year, a1/3 of which is attributed to packaging waste.

Tiffin, which started life in Brussels in February 2019, currently has more than 4,000 tiffin boxes in circulation and a growing number of partner restaurants, caterers and food distributors.

By creating a community of restaurateurs, caterers, schools, businesses and consumers who want to eat take-out or delivered meals while preserving the environment, Tiffin aim to promote the local economy, reduce food waste and bring healthy, local food within reach to consumers.

Tiffin say: “We want to reduce the number of food packaging waste by 1.5 tonnes per 1000 members (waste which, had it been incinerated, would have emitted 4 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere), this is a saving of €20,000 in purchasing disposable containers, an amount that can be better invested.”

The Tiffin Project initially started out in Canada, where chef Hunter Moyes wanted to decrease the amount of single use packaging used by his customers. The scheme ran in Vancouver from 2012-2015.

Image Source: Tiffin


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

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