Used cooking oil from restaurants and snack bars usually has to be disposed of at collection points and usually ends up in incineration plants where it is thermally recycled and provides district heating. The Koziol company in Erbach in the Odenwald, known as a manufacturer of design products made of plastic, on the other hand, produces sustainable dinnerware from the old cooking oil. To do this, the waste oil is first processed into granulate by a special company. Koziol then transforms this into plastic in a complex process. At a trade fair in Paris, the company from the Odenwald region was able to enthuse the chief buyer of Disneyland to such an extent that a very special business deal was concluded: since January, Koziol has been supplying the amusement park in the French capital. According to company spokeswoman Katrin Bode, “several hundred thousand pieces are planned”. Disneyland is not the only buyer of the new material. There is already a cooperation with Vytal, a digital returnable system for picking up food and drinks.
The cooperation between Disneyland and koziol (link is in German) was made possible by a new law. Since 1 January 2023, disposable tableware may no longer be used in France’s gastronomy. While in Germany a corresponding EU directive is implemented rather timidly, France is very rigorous, says Bode. Since Disneyland has so far only issued disposable tableware, the sustainable solution from the Odenwald came at the right time for the company. Although the tableware is not biodegradable, it can be recycled at the end of its life. Since only used oil is used for the biocircular plastic with wood cellulose, no fossil oil is needed for its production, nor does anything have to be cultivated.
The tableware was developed during the Corona pandemic. “During the first lockdown, we didn’t sell anything,” the spokesperson recalls, according to a report by Hessenschau. “We already had to nibble at that.” Therefore, the development of the new plastic was pushed forward during the forced break. In the meantime, the Disneyland business has become an important mainstay for the company, which currently employs around 160 people. Unlike other Koziol products, the design of the bowls is kept simple at the request of the customer. The aim is to prevent too much crockery being taken away from the park as a souvenir. “As soon as the Mickey Mouse is on it, it disappears,” says Managing Director Stephan Koziol. “If the Mickey Mouse is not on it, it disappears more slowly.” However, it is probably impossible to completely avoid the disappearance.
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