reCIRCLE started in August 2016 with a total of 24 partners in the network. "Every start-up knows an intensive launch phase. Partners and producers had to be convinced, funds had to be raised and products had to be developed and produced. We also had to do a lot of convincing in the process".
The reCIRCLE boxes are available in five different sizes - with low or high rims, for menus, salads and soups. All boxes are stackable, well ventilated and each with a matching, well-closing lid. The reusable products are produced in Switzerland in a climate-neutral way and are made of high-quality, odourless plastic that is harmless to health and can be washed at least 200 times in the dishwasher. They are also microwaveable, can be heated up to 121°C and used for freezing supplies. The latest addition to the reCIRCLE range is a specially developed, stylish cup for drinks and food "to go". The new reusable cup "ISY" is transparent, double-walled, insulating and available in three sizes (90 ml, 300 ml and 500 ml).
The lids of the boxes have been recycled and components made from them since day one. The boxes could already be melted down and reused by now, but the recycling process has not yet been approved by the responsible federal office. "The goal is to add 10 to 20 per cent recycled material to the newly produced reCIRCLE BOXes in the future. In this way, boxes would become boxes again and the cycle would be completely closed. Approval could still take some time. Until then, we collect the material and store it. At the moment, we only have a few returns anyway, because our boxes are extremely durable," says the reusable pioneer.
The concept of reCIRCLE is simple but well thought-out: the customer takes one of the reusable reCIRCLE boxes for his takeaway menu. After eating from the box, the customer simply returns it to the participating partners of reCIRCLE or keeps the box for reuse. A box costs 10 francs. "The fact that we have already been able to motivate so many partner businesses to join the network creates great visibility for our vision: from disposable to reusable. At the same time, it is becoming more and more convenient for reCIRCLE users thanks to the ever-growing network," says Christoph Mumenthaler, Sales Manager Switzerland West.
The Swiss Economic Award is the most important young entrepreneur award in Switzerland. The coveted award honours outstanding entrepreneurial achievements in three categories. The start-up reCIRCLE was crowned the winner in the Production/Commercial category in September 2020 for its business idea of recyclable, more ecological and affordable reusable packaging for the catering industry. "This award is like a knighthood for us and confirms that closed-loop systems have arrived in the economy," says founder and CEO Jeannette Morath happily.