Swiss converter takes stake in Elithro / German company runs system for reusable takeaway food containers
Returnable packaging made of GFR PBT (Photo: reCircle Germany)
Swiss plastics converter Semadeni (Ostermundigen; said it has paid a “mid six-figure amount” for stake at Germany’s Elithro (Stuttgart;, which specialises in reusable systems for take-away food. Semadeni CEO and managing director Patrick Semadeni did not provide the exact figures in response to an enquiry by

The Elithro start-up operates the Swiss “reCircle” reusable system in Germany, which is one of the largest providers in the German-speaking region, with around 150 partner restaurants in Germany and more than 1,400 partners in Switzerland. Although the four-person team around Elithro’s founder Thorben Bechtoldt already cooperates closely with reCircle in Switzerland, it is an independent German company. The Swiss firm reCircle (Bern; developed the concept in 2015.

“In Semadeni, we have found a partner that also fights for sustainable solutions,” Bechtoldt said. “Until now, we have focused mainly on southern Germany because of the proximity to our headquarters. We have been able to establish the reusable system in Baden-Württemberg as the market leader.” With this investment, Elithro is able to expand and strengthen its activities throughout Germany.
Dishes on loan
The concept is simple: customers borrow – for a deposit of EUR 10 – a reusable container, enjoy their takeaway meal either on the road, in the office or at home, and then return the containers to any partner outlet. “For the catering industry, this not only means a saving in the amount of single-use packaging waste, but also a saving in packaging costs,” Bechtoldt explained. “The partner contribution for participating catering companies is usually less than the purchasing costs for the single-use packs.” The aubergine-coloured trays made of glass fibre-reinforced polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) with lids of polypropylene are produced by Swiss injection moulder Stefan Kälin (Einsiedeln;, and are available in five different sizes.

With 150 employees, Semadeni reported its most recent sales at CHF 40m (EUR 37.30m), and the company is active mainly in the fields of healthcare, medical and consumer goods packaging. As part of the so-called “Swiss Triple Impact Program”, the Alpine plastics converter promotes the increased use of recyclate and reusable packaging systems.
21.10.2020 [246177-0]
Published on 21.10.2020
Semadeni: Schweizer Kunststoffverarbeiter beteiligt sich an reCircleGerman version of this article...

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