An Eco Ringo drop-off box for reusable food containers, Source: Tallinn Municipality

From 1 June, Tallinn public events will feature only reusable food and drink containers

From 1 June, Tallinn public events will feature only reusable food and drink containers

In preparation for this, the city has also initiated a test project of a deposit-based system for packaging circulation

Catering establishments in the Estonian capital of Tallinn will only be allowed to use reusable containers at public events from 1 June 2023, and from 1 January 2024, the rule will extend to the entire country. This is one of the measures that the city is aiming to implement as a lasting legacy of its European Green Capital year.

Joosep Vimm, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn, said that the switch to the reuse requirement will significantly reduce the environmental footprint of events. “As a result, there will be tonnes of waste avoided. We should move towards the longest possible life of products and reuse opportunities in all sectors. This is just one step, but an important one for the environment,” he added.

The step is also seen as key towards preparing the hospitality and catering sectors to switch completely to serving food and beverages in reusable packaging when selling takeaways.

At public events, the use of only reusable containers will become mandatory for one day of attendance at public events with fewer than 30 000 visitors from 1 June 2023. For one-day public events with 30 000 visitors and more, the regulation will enter into force from 1 January 2024.

The circle of containers

Tallinn is also promoting itself as a testbed for innovative solutions that bring real change. In that light, the authorities have concluded an agreement with the Ringo Eco startup for the implementation of a pilot project in the old town this month.

Ringo Eco has developed a platform offering repackaging for food places, retail chains, as well as smaller and larger events. The end consumer first pays a deposit for the repackage, but then gets it back in full if they scan the QR code on the package with their smartphone camera and take the package to any Ringo return box. 

As of today, there are more than 200 different return points in Tallinn alone. Ringo collects the packages from the return boxes, washes them and returns the deposits to the end consumers.

The pilot project will install an additional seven points in the old town quarter, which will assess the filling, emptying and potential misuse of the collection boxes.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU