Alternative Food Packaging

Sustainability 2020

The coronavirus crisis has altered our reality in the city: there is now more distance between us (1.5 metres as standard) and an even greater emphasis on safety and hygiene. The term ‘ultra-hygiene’ is already becoming widespread in the hospitality industry. You need to be able to demonstrate 100% safety to the guests. This means, for example, items are handled as little as possible, or they are designed for one-time use. By throwing something away, the risk of infection is eliminated. Problem solved, surely?

So, what exactly is the problem?
There is now pressure on people and businesses within the industry to reverse a number of already implemented circular measures because they do not sufficiently meet the hygiene demands that are expected. So rather than using less, we are using more single-use items and raw materials (think paper towels, menus, cutlery, packaging for meals, and small single-serve packaging).

On invite of the City, a number of hotels in Amsterdam are active members of the Circular Hotels Leaders Group. This group wants to ensure circular standards are not completely dropped. Especially in light of the current situation, it is necessary to demonstrate that sustainability remains a core value while still meeting standards their guests can trust in too.

A possible pilot location during the programme is one of the participating Hotels of the Circular Hotels Leaders Group.

The Challenge
Develop alternatives for packaging food that meet hygiene measures intended to combat the spread of the coronavirus, but still embrace circular values. The goal is coronavirus-proof packaging and tableware: guaranteed to be safe to use, hygienic, and without risk of contamination.

The solution offered by the Startup must meet the following minimal criteria

  • Solutions need to be accessible in the short term (i.e. no new technical innovations that still require lengthy periods of development);
  • The solution combines product design and influencing people’s behaviour (rather than encouraging the habit of using more disposable and single-use items);
  • It should be widely applicable to the hospitality industry (and eventually other sectors, such as healthcare);
  • The solution should not put any additional demand on public space.

Issued by 
Afdeling Duurzaamheid , Ruimte & Duurzaamheid

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Download and fill in the the Uniform Europees Aanbestedingsdocument (UEA). This is the Dutch version of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD). You can download the UEA here. Please make sure you download and open the UEA form in Acrobat Reader and don’t forget to fill in and sign the document before you upload it.* If you don’t understand Dutch, please download the English manual here. In the UEA you declare that you meet the general criteria (See ‘What is a startup?’ in the Tender) and the specific criteria per challenge.


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During a six month programme you will receive training 1 day per two weeks. This ranges from value proposition building to Growth Hacking and from intellectual property to financial administration. In addition, we have created a series of workshops about how the City of Amsterdam works (for example: decision making and procurement).


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