Pyxo is a French startup that has been thinking a lot about disposable plastic food packages for the past three years. The company wants to provide a service that enables easy, low-cost, large-scale use of reusable food storage containers.
The idea for Pyxo was born at a trade fair held at the Tuileries Garden in Paris. Right next to the food stalls, trash cans were filled with disposable food packages such as soda cups and hamburger clamshell containers.
The company first started working with Sodexo, a French corporate catering service company. He worked with them to replace the plastic cups so that everything could be reused. However, with the coronavirus epidemic and the move to remote work, Pyxo began looking for other clients.
We have started collaboration with food tech companies such as Foodles and Popchef, which provide lunch boxes and snacks in the refrigerator.
But Pyxo’s biggest market opportunity came from regulatory changes. In July 2020, the French Parliament passed a waste management law with some drastic changes. By January 2023, restaurants had to switch to reusable food containers.
This means that fast-food restaurant chains will no longer be able to use paper or plastic cups, disposable clamshell boxes, and more. Pyxo is already working with an unnamed French fast food chain to help switch to reusable packages.
The company creates a market for reusable food containers, connecting companies in the industry. When fast food stores buy containers in bulk, all containers come with a QR code or NFC chip so you can track them wherever you are.
The restaurant can outsource the cleaning to a specialist, who can hand over the clean containers in bulk when they come to pick up the containers for the day. These consignment companies scan everything you clean, such as containers and cups.
In addition, customers can order takeaway food and take it home in reusable containers. In that case, you can also use the app to find the nearest collection location. It doesn’t have to be the restaurant you ordered. Pyxo is thinking of increasing the incentive to return by introducing gamification and a small deposit system.
“Our vision is to be an infrastructure industry,” said co-founder and CEO Benjamin Peri. Pyxo believes that it is building a network that functions like a power grid. In the future, we believe that a dense network of restaurants, depots, cleaning centers, etc. will be formed.
Fast food chains could be a catalyst for the industry as one customer has numerous restaurants across the country. Fast food chains can encourage other actors to join the network with Pyxo acting as the network operator.
Currently, there are only a few restaurants that are actively using Pyxo, so the company is still in its infancy. However, the startup has raised $ 7.9 million from Eurazeo, FiveSeasons Ventures and others.
On January 1, 2023, the startup expects to work with 2000 sales outlets in the restaurant industry alone. Pyxo hopes to continue working with food tech companies and corporate catering services, but its share of the business will be smaller. With today’s funding, the company plans to hire an additional 70 employees.
Image credit: Pyxo
(Sentence: Romain Dillet, Translation: Akihito Mizukoshi)