Washable lunchboxes

A tasty welcome to our new students!

The goodie bag that you received as a new student includes a small gift from EPFL: a reusable plate accepted at all our restaurants, cafeterias, food trucks and self-service outlets. You can wash it yourself or exchange it for a clean one at any of those establishments. These plates are another example of our commitment to creating a more sustainable campus.

Check out our many on-campus eateries, where you can put your plate to good use!

How it works

In order to limit waste production related to take-away food sales, most food trucks and restaurants will now offer reusable lunchboxes, fitted with an airtight lid.
This pilot project was launched on September 2017. The results are conclusive and the measure will be made permanent with a definitive rollout for the summer of 2018.

You can either bring your own lunch box or use the reBOX system offered by the EPFL

 Your meal is served in a reBOX (box + lid)
 which comes with a CHF 10.- deposit

 Wash and reuse your reBOX or
 bring it back the same day: the EPFL will wash it for you

 Bring the reBOX back to any of the participating  restaurants/food trucks and get your deposit back

      • purple lid → food trucks
      • white lid → restaurants

Numerous advantages

For the past several years, the issue of disposable dishes has been regularly discussed on campus: according to a waste characterization done in 2015, the share of waste due to takeaway forms between 26 and 38% of EPFL’s total urban waste. As for the trucks, they provide 7 to 8% of all meals distributed every day at EPFL. That represents a significant amount of waste that could be avoided every year.

According to a study from the EPFL spin-off Quantis, a disposable container has three times more impact on the environment than a reusable one. Altough their washing uses water, a reBOX drastically reduces the amount of waste produced: it weighs between 220 and 250g (with its lid), while a disposable one weighs between 20 to 40g. When used a hundred times, it avoids the production of 2 to 4kg of plastic waste.

In addition, reCIRCLE enhanced the reBOX ecological balance: it is fully recyclable and produced in Switzerland.

Spec sheet

The reBOX is:

  • made of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) for the container and polypropylene (PP) for the lid
  • SQTS certified
  • FDA approved
  • BPA free
  • temperature-resistant between -20 and +121°C
  • freezer safe
  • microwave safe
  • dishwasher safe