FAQ

How much does ringkarp cost?

It’s for free! When you order your food, you’ll be asked to leave a 10 € deposit for the box and 5 € for the cup. You can keep these beautiful reusable objects for your whole life if that’s your wish. However, we hope you’ll keep the boxes circulating: once you’re finished you can return the box or cup to any of our partner restaurants and get your money back, or a new box with some yummy food.

Why does ringkarp (the box) cost 10€ and ringtops (the cup) 5€?

Our containers are valuable and 10€/5€ gives enough motivation to return them 🙂 Consequently, this ensures that the boxes and cups will continue to circulate and can be reused as many times as possible.  




Can I order a home delivery in ringkarp too?

Yes, you can order food home or work via Wolt delivery platform. Just enter ringkarp to the search field and you find the restaurants who offer RingKarp. You can return the containers to whatever RingKarp restaurant and get all your money back. We are working on a possibility that you can return the containers also to the courier.

Where can I return my ringkarp?

Return it to any of our partner restaurants or the courier. Our network is constantly expanding, so keep an eye on the list of our partners here .




How quickly do I have to return my ringkarp?

No rush. You can keep it as long as you want and return when you’re ready. 




Why don’t you have a return machine for returning the containers?

There are two reasons.

 

Firstly, our priority is to keep the environmental footprint as minimal as possible. All our partner restaurants can wash the container in-house, which means we don’t need to transport the containers from the maschine to the washing station, then storage and then back to the restaurants. Additionally, no resources are used to create the machines in the first place. 

 

Secondly, we want to make our system more convenient for you! You don’t need to search for the machine, but can just pop into any of the partner restaurants. The more we expand our network, the easier returning becomes. And expansion is our primary goal at the moment 🙂




Do I need to wash the container before returning?

No, you don’t. The restaurant will wash the containers in their dishwasher to ensure maximum safety and hygiene. We recommend bringing back an empty container though, so do eat the food first 🙂




Which material are the containers made of? Are they OK to be used as food storage?

RingKarp containers consist of 70% PBT plastic aka Polybutylene terephthalate and 30% glass. They don’t contain any dangerous Phthalates nor any other plasticizers. Our boxes don’t emit any BPA nor colouring. Ringkarp is also good for vegans as they have been produced without any animal products. 

RingKarp lids are made of PP-plastic aka Polypropylene

Ringtops (the cup) is made of Tritan, which is apparently the safest plastic in the world. 

All our containers have passed all the safety tests in a recognised Swiss laboratory. The tests prove that using the containers with food is completely safe. 

The containers are reusable at least 200 times and completely recyclable at the end of their life cycle. They are stackable, can be used in the microwave or oven with up to 120 degrees Celsius, they are dishwasher-proof and can be used with hot food. 




Ringkarbid on korduskasutatavad vähemalt 200 korda ja oma eluea lõpus ümbertöödeldavad, need on virnastatavad, neid võib kasutada mikrolaineahjus ja kuni 120 kraadini  tavalises ahjus, karpe võib pesta nõudepesumasinas, karpidesse võib panna kuuma toitu.

Why are we using plastic containers?

We have literally considered every possible version - glass, steel, local reed… Glass is too heavy and can break easily, and the one which would be unbreakable could not be recycled. Steel can’t be used in microwaves and you can’t put hot food in it (you’ll burn your fingers!).  Reed containers (and other plant-based materials) are not durable enough to be reused hundreds of times. 

Where are the containers made and what happens at the end of their life span?

We are very happy that we managed to find a supplier in Europe! RingKarp containers are all produced carbon-neutrally in Switzerland. As we are dealing with food-safe plastic, then the goal is to use the recycled products for new containers. At the moment it’s not possible due to regulations and they are made into plastic granules that are used by other industries. 

Why would a food seller or a restaurant join RingKarp circular network?

  • Using the containers is cheaper than single-use packaging. 

  • We have a solution to the situation, where the EU is about to ban single-use plastic including food containers from bioplastics. 

  • Your existing client base, together with RingKarp fans,  will form into a new, more environmentally-friendly client segment for whom environmentally-conscious takeaway places are the norm. 

 

  • Selling takeaways is easier and safer with the container that is fully hygienic. 

  • You will become a member of our circular network and are allowed to buy as many RingKarp containers and cups as you need. 

  • Containers can be returned to any of RingKarp member restaurants, which is convenient for the clients, who consequently start choosing restaurants who are part of the RingKarp network. 

  • Your reputation as a forerunner and trendsetter in circular economy and environmental consciousness increases.

Is the reusable container definitely better for the environment? There will be more resources needed to produce these than single-use boxes.

True. If you’d use ringkarp only once, it would indeed have a bigger environmental footprint than a single-use plastic box.

But our containers can be used for up to 200 times - with just one container you are replacing 200 single-use boxes that would end up in the landfill. In the period of 4 years, an average takeaway supplier would replace 192 000 single-use containers with only 1000 reusable containers if they’d be used for 200 times each. Hence, it is the choice of each restaurateur, whether to use 1000 single-use containers a week or 1000 reusable containers in 4 years. 

Choosing reusable containers and RingKarp, the takeaway seller will save 21 596.83 kg/CO2 in 4 years, which equals to 9 flights from Tallinn to Argentina.




But why the biodegradable container doesn’t cut it?

Today it is not possible to recycle biodegradable and (industrially) compostable containers in Estonia. 90% of containers that are perceived to be environmentally-friendly options end up with usual household waste, and in the landfill. The compostable material that is not actually directed to a necessary facility won’t degrade in nature, nor in the waste facility while there is not enough oxygen that is needed to start the decomposition process. Instead, these containers (biodegradable packaging) emit methane that is a greenhouse gas. 



We also come to the question of ethics: is it right to waste land that could be used for food crops to “grow packaging” while half of the world's population is experiencing hunger and famine? Additionally, the raw materials for biodegradable packaging comes from intensive agriculture that reduces biodiversity and promotes the expansion of desert landscapes, soil degradation etc. As it’s not the raw material “used for food”, plenty of dangerous fertilisers are used to increase yield.  

Some bioplastics, like PLA, are created from GMO corn and therefore damaging the environment.





Still, why can’t we just keep using single use containers?

An average restaurant uses 1000 single-use containers a week. This means 48 000 containers a year. If you’d make a row out of this, it would be 10 km long!

This is trash that is not reused or recycled and an amount produced by just ONE restaurant. We are literally drowning in trash already. If we want an Earth where also our children will be able to live, we need to take radical steps towards change NOW.

 

Fortunately, governmental institutions have realised it too. The EU single-use plastic directive says that many versions of single-use plastic  are going to be banned from the market. In Estonia, the bill says that from 3rd July 2022, single-use containers will cost at least 0,50€ and this cost needs to be relayed to the client separately, not included in the food cost. Additionally, from 2024 any bulk food seller must provide reusable solutions for takeaways.