Reusable Wares (coffee cups)

Reusable Packaging

Hygiene is a key factor in offering food in reusable packaging

It’s estimated that less than 1% of single-use drink cups get recycled, even if put in a recyclable wate bin. This is because they are made from mixed materials, making them more difficult to recycle, so end up in landfill.

As governments, businesses and consumers are becoming more and more conscious about planet health, there is a constant want and need for implementing more sustainable practices. One example of this is the EU Directive on single-use- plastics (SUP), where individual EU member states are changing their packaging laws and regulations, leading to foodservice operators needing to offer reusable wares as an alternative to single-use wares. With the implementation of new regulations, correct cleaning and disinfection are critical factors for ensuring food safety and maintaining the lifespan of the reusable food and beverage containers. 

Cleaning of reusable wares and food packaging

Correct cleaning and disinfection are critical factors for ensuring food safety and maintaining the lifespan of the reusable food and beverage containers.

Black reusable bowls and cups sat upside down drying after being cleaned

Compared to a traditional warewashing operation, there are further risks and impacts associated with a reusable warewashing. Having the incorrect cleaning and hygiene program can lead to additional:

  • Food safety risks
  • Negative customer experiences and subsequently loss of reputation
  • Additional costs due to:
    • Reduced lifespan of reusable ware, prompting additional repurchase
    • Increased water & energy use and workforce resource

This is where Ecolab, as the industry experts, brings extensive know-how and expertise to the table to help you successfully implement solutions to ensure clean and safe reusables in your operation. As a result:

  • The right procedures are safely followed
  • The right products for the right type of materials are used
  • The right results are achieved
  • Water, energy, waste and procedural time is reduced
  • Overall costs are minimised



Find below a collection of relevant information and materials that will help guide you to implementing and maintaining a clean and safe reusable warewashing operation.

Ecolab Reusable Wares Interactive Brochure Cover

Reusable warewashing support guide

This document provides you with background information on where the new regulations have come from and why, what it means for foodservice operations, what considerations should be made for reusable wares, what the risks are, and how to avoid them.

Restaurant / Bar server checking clean glass wearing glove

From our experts: Hygiene of different types of wares

Our experts have compiled interesting know-how, information and specific tips on warewashing of glass, stainless steel, porcelain and plastic and ensuring cleanliness and longevity.


Reusable Wares Cleaning Program for Quick Service Restaurants

Find out more about the components of a successful reusable warewashing program for quick service restaurants.

webinar invitation

On Demand Webinar: Reusables the new way? 

In this webinar, a cooperation of Ecolab and the German reusable packaging association (Mehrwegverband Deutschland e.V.), the legal framework for the obligation to provide reusable packaging for out-of-home catering is presented and the topic of hygienic processing of reusable plastic packaging is explored in more detail.


On Demand Webinar: Do reusable wares provide additional value?

The new packaging law has shown that companies have to overcome some hurdles in terms of hygiene, logistics and costs when implementing it. Is reusable packaging really worth it? When does reusable material generate real added value in terms of sustainability? This webinar in collaboration between Ecolab and TOMRA Reuse aims to find answers to these questions and look into the future.

Arbeitskreis Gewerbliches Geschirrspülen (AK GGS) Logo

Hygienic washing of multi-use plastic tableware

Recommendations from the Working Group on Commercial Dishwashing (AK GGS).

Reusable Wares Cleaning Solutions From Ecolab

Ecolab Apex Blocks

Apex: Machine Warewashing

Apex helps you to achieve new efficiencies within your warewashing operation. Giving you more control over your warewashing and total costs, but making it simpler than ever to run your dishroom and get outstanding results.


Solids: Machine Warewashing

Our Solid dishwashing program offers efficiency and dependability for high volume operations through high performing, longer-lasting products.

Image of Ecolab's Clear Dry Classic 20Kg and 5L machine dishwashing rinse aid and Topmatic Hero 20Kg and 5L machine dishwashing detergent on a dishroom surface

Liquid: Machine Warewashing

Our complete dishwashing liquid program helps to streamline your dishwashing operations offering a complete range of liquid detergent, rinse additives and sanitizers to keep your undercounter or hood type machine working at its best.

Additional Programs to Support Foodservice Businesses

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Our Sustainability Impact

At Ecolab, sustainability is an integral part of everything we do. Through technology, information, on-site service and training, we help companies around the world achieve exceptional business results, while advancing a positive environmental and social impact. The work we do matters, and the way we do it matters to our employees, customers and our communities.