25 March 2020, Bangkok, Thailand: Bring your own (BYO) container schemes are being suspended across the region due to concerns about cross-contamination from reusable containers.
In a new report, Eco-Business highlights some food and beverage (F&B) organizations which are suspending their BYO schemes, due to the fear from retailers and customers that reusable containers will spread the virus.
BYO schemes were formerly successfully implemented by Starbucks across the region, Koi bubble tea and Raffles Quay Asset Management in Singapore, amongst others.
Starbucks has temporarily withdrawn the BYO option in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Japan and China. In China, 4,300 stores were closed at the start of the outbreak. The BYO scheme is still currently in place in Singapore and the Philippines.
In Malaysia and Thailand, where populations are increasingly facing ever tighter restrictions on movement, all food and beverage outlets are closed to the public, but remain open for delivery services. With the majority of the population unable to leave their homes, this is anticipated to lead to a surge in F&B delivery services. The use of disposable F&B containers for delivery items is likely to escalate as a result.
It is important to note that ceasing BYO schemes are all voluntary actions from the F&B businesses themselves, not Government bans.