How to open the container after the microwave

frequently asked Questions

We were annoyed by the huge amounts of garbage and the waste of resources that you cause when you take food with you and the packaging ends up in the trash after less than 30 minutes. Every year in Germany 281,000 tons of packaging for immediate consumption end up in the garbage and produce as much CO2 as around 195,000 cars in a year. We spoke to many consumers, restaurant owners, canteen operators and grocers about how we can reduce this amount of waste. We were looking for a convenient and innovative solution in which the consumer can always receive a free, freshly rinsed bowl in the store that looks appealing, is absolutely leak-proof and avoids plastic waste. We are proud to be able to offer you exactly that with VYTAL!

Is VYTAL better than compostable disposable packaging?

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Yes, because VYTAL does not produce any waste at all, while other so-called "biodegradable" materials such as PLA and bagasse still end up in the garbage and are often not properly recycled. They do not offer a real alternative to Styrofoam or aluminum packaging, as PLA and bagasse also consume a lot of resources in production and have to be incinerated after disposal because they have too long rotting times for industrial composting plants in Germany. That is why the Federal Environment Agency and other experts are in favor of reusable solutions. With VYTAL, we therefore rely on a circular reusable system to avoid waste, which already has a better ecological balance after 10 washes than conventional packaging.

How long has the VYTAL system been in existence?

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VYTAL is a Cologne startup that was founded by us (Sven Witthöft and Dr. Tim Breker) in June 2019. Since then we have spread quickly across Germany and already have more than 700 partners from whom VYTAL reusable containers can be borrowed. We are always expanding with new partners and team members.

Where is the VYTAL system currently being used?

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Our reusable system is used throughout Germany by restaurants, companies, canteens, caterers and grocers. We already have a dense network of partners in Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Freiburg and can also be found in many other cities. We are continuously expanding our system and expanding into more and more places.

What are the advantages of the VYTAL system for users?

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As a VYTAL customer, you get a better experience when taking out and ordering food - without any plastic waste and without a guilty conscience. In this way, you can save on single-use packaging and CO2 emissions with every meal.

What are the advantages of the VYTAL system for restaurateurs?

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The advantages for our partners from the catering industry are the reduction of packaging waste and costs. At the same time, restaurateurs can offer their customers a better eating experience and take them away in our 100% leak-proof VYTAL reusable containers.

Which food are the VYTAL reusable containers best suited for?

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VYTAL offers a wide range of reusable containers for all hot and cold dishes. All kinds of dishes can be enjoyed in the reusable bowls, as they are absolutely leak-proof and suitable for microwaves and dishwashers. Warm food stays pleasantly warm in them and, if necessary, can simply be reheated in the microwave (without a lid). Restaurants and canteens also use our sushi containers, and recently also pizza packaging and coffee mugs. So we cover all your favorite dishes with our containers.

How does the VYTAL system work?

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VYTAL is a sustainable and convenient reusable system for take-away meals. After bike sharing and car sharing, we are now making bowl sharing possible. To do this, the customer downloads our app and registers once. This means that the customer can take food with them in our high-quality VYTAL reusable trays from every participating system partner. At the checkout, simply scan the personal QR code in the VYTAL app and the QR code on the tray and you're done - no deposit is required. After eating, you can simply return the used bowl to any of the system partners, where it will be hygienically cleaned for the next use. The customer always receives a freshly rinsed bowl on site. The service does not cost anything extra - as long as the bowl is returned to a partner within 14 days of being issued.

How do I get a VYTAL reusable container?

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You can easily get your VYTAL reusable container from one of the participating system partners when you get your food. Download the VYTAL app, register and enjoy your meal without any packaging waste!

Why is my QR code being scanned?

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The individual QR codes of each customer and each tray enable the system to be processed digitally via our platform. In the app you can see which bowls you have borrowed and how much time you still have to conveniently return them to one of our partners. We can also send reminders so that you can bring the trays back and show you how much packaging waste and CO2 you have already saved.

Where can I return VYTAL reusable containers?

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You can conveniently return your reusable containers to all participating system partners after use. There they are hygienically cleaned again for the next use.

What happens after I return my container?

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Your VYTAL reusable container will be checked on site by our system partner, scanned and then hygienically cleaned for the next use in the gastro dishwasher. In this way, the bowl is quickly returned to our system and can be released for use again.

What if I don't return the container?

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If you do not return the bowl within 14 days, you will be charged € 10 so that we can replace the bowl and save CO2 emissions with our circular reusable system. Because we can only effectively replace disposable packaging by reusing it frequently. But the 10 € are not just gone. If you bring the bowl back after the 14 days, you will receive 5 VYTAL credits in the app, which you can redeem for delicious meals from partners.

Can I return my VYTAL reusable container when it is dirty?

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You can also return your bowl uncleaned on the same day, as it will be hygienically cleaned by our partners anyway. If you don't bring the bowl back for several days, please rinse it at least with cold water so that no mold develops. Our system partners basically check all trays and are not obliged to take back deliberately damaged trays that have not been used for food. In this case we would bill you for 10 €. So please treat our bowls with care so that we can use them for a long time and save a lot of packaging.

Why do I have to enter my payment details when registering?

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As with other sharing services, you have to register for VYTAL. In this way we can guarantee cashless and convenient processing and you do not have to pay a deposit. The payment details serve as security that you will bring the VYTAL reusable bowl back to one of our partners. You have 14 days for this. If you do not return the tray within 14 days, we will charge you € 10 to replace the tray for our system.

What does VYTAL do with my data?

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We collect your personal data for communication about the reusable bowls - so that we can remind you to bring the bowl back and thus be part of the circular reusable system. With us, your data is protected by encryption and server structures. Your payment data is processed and stored by the external payment provider Stripe, so that we do not have direct access to it. They are only used as security if you don't return your bowl so that we can request payment. Our digital system also makes it possible to measure how much packaging and CO2 have already been saved by you and the other users.

What are the VYTAL reusable containers made of?

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VYTAL reusable containers are made of BPA-free polypropylene and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), making them light, stable and 100% leak-proof. We looked for a suitable material and manufacturer for a long time and then decided on this very high-quality plastic, which is particularly easy to recycle. In addition, our polypropylene trays are more ecological than stainless steel containers and can be used in the freezer and in the microwave (without a lid). The VYTAL reusable containers are developed in Holland and the Czech Republic and manufactured locally, partly with the involvement of a workshop for the disabled, according to all EU standards.

How tight and heat-resistant are the VYTAL reusable containers?

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The containers are 100% leak-proof and suitable for freezers and microwaves (the lid must not be used in the microwave as it can deform under the increased temperature). Any long-term storage at room temperature or below, including heating to 70 ° C for up to 2 hours or heating to 100 ° C for up to 15 minutes in contact with the food, is not a problem for our reusable trays. You can find out more about our containers here.

What is the ecological balance of the VYTAL reusable containers and how long can
are they used?

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According to the manufacturer, the VYTAL reusable containers can be used at least 200 times. They are more environmentally friendly than disposable packaging from as little as 10 fillings and save up to 30kg of CO2 over the life cycle compared to disposable packaging made of polystyrene or aluminum. This means that only one container makes up for the consumption of a typical internal combustion engine on the route from Frankfurt to Cologne.

How are VYTAL reusable containers disposed of and dismantled?

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If you can no longer use a VYTAL reusable container, we take it back to recycle it in a controlled manner. To do this, our containers are shredded and melted down to make other products. In this way our system remains circular and we completely avoid the creation of waste.

What are VYTAL credits and how are they used?

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VYTAL credits help build an effective circulatory system. They are credited when a return period for VYTAL containers has expired and users still return their VYTAL containers. Alternatively, they are also credited if users have bought one of our offline membership cards and then switched to the app. In the future there will also be VYTAL credits if various savings targets are achieved!

VYTAL credits can primarily be used to pay for pre-ordered food via the app. They are also useful for extending the return deadline by a week if the worst comes to the worst.