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Reuse Landscape Newsletter
November 2, 2021

Welcome to the first edition of the Reuse Landscape bi-weekly newsletter. Every other Tuesday, this newsletter will bring you the latest reuse news, publications, and policy updates along with interviews, insights, new Reuse Landscape infographics and more. To opt out of this newsletter, please click here.  

This newsletter is an opportunity to highlight the data and insights that are coming out of the Living Landscape of Reusable Solutions database and accompanying website. The database includes for profit and nonprofit programs and campaigns in the United States, Europe, and Canada that work to eliminate plastic waste by providing reusable solutions. The database and charts are being constantly updated and expanded as new solutions and information become available.

Speaking of expansion, the Reuse Landscape database is currently being expanded to include solutions from around the world! Over 200 additional reuse solutions have already been identified and will be integrated with the existing public database by the end of the year. Additionally, look for the Reuse Funding Landscape database and Reuse Policy Landscape database to launch publicly around the same time. (An improved website is also on the To Do list for early 2022.)

Want to learn more about our future offerings or know about a great organization operating in the space that isn't currently listed in our database? Feel free to reach out to anytime to help improve the database. 

View the Website Here

What is reuse and what is a reusable system?

Reuse is the highest value "R" in the circular economy hierarchy: the more times an item can be reused before the end of its useful life, the lower its footprint-per-use is (assuming efficient, low GHG logistics and washing).

Reusable products or packages must be designed to be repeatedly reused for the same purpose for which they were originally created. (Informal reuse, like storing LEGO in yogurt tubs, is of course encouraged but does not qualify the yogurt tubs as a reusable package.) 

A reusable system, or solution, is the supporting organization, process, and/or enabling technology and infrastructure that together facilitate the circulation of the reusable product or package.  Examples of reusable systems include:

  • A program that allows you to borrow a cup from a local coffee shop and return it across town when you are done, to be cleaned and restocked at the coffee shop.
  • A refill station in your local supermarket for shampoo and other personal care products.
  • An app that rewards you when you fill your own water bottle rather than buying a disposable one. 

Reuse News Roundup

Exciting things are happening in the reuse landscape.  

Coca-Cola has launched a pilot for refillable, on-the-go drinks solutions in Sweden. Consumers at the convenience store PBX can buy Coca-Cola products using refillable beverage containers from GLACIAL that will keep their beverages cold for up to 12 hours.

DeliverZero, Dispatch Goods, repEATer, and other reusable foodware systems are on 'the cusp of a reuse revolution'. More than 70% of Americans order takeout at least once a week, creating a market for reusable systems in cities large and small. 

FedEx Express has introduced reusable shipping packaging for the European e-commerce industry. The FedEx Reusable Pak is suitable for shipments up to 2.5 kg and is available in sizes Small, Large, and Extra-large.

Tim Hortons is partnering with Terracycle’s Loop circular packaging platform to pilot a reusable cup & container program that will give guests the option of paying a deposit and receiving reusable and returnable foodware.

WWP Beauty, a supplier to the global beauty industry, has launched its new, Refill Revolution collection featuring a series of refillable packaging solutions that reduce carbon emissions and promote a more circular system. 

Closed Loop Partners has announced an additional $10 million commitment from the NextGen Consortium's Founding Partners, Starbucks and McDonald's. Part of the funds will be used to deepen the Consortium's customer research and testing of reusable packaging systems.

Policy changes to Maine’s Food Code now allow businesses to offer reusable and returnable take-out food containers.

Reuse Company Spotlight: RECUP

Reusable cup and container programs allow users to borrow reusable foodware from a readily available pool available at their local restaurant, coffee shop, music venue, university or corporate cafeteria, eliminating single-use takeaway packaging.  When the user is done with the foodware they return it to a local drop point or the point-of-purchase. The foodware is then cleaned, sanitized, and returned to the pool for the next user. 

Founded in 2016, RECUP and its companion container program REBOWL are available at an extensive 9,400 restaurants, cafes and corporate cafeterias in Germany. RECUP customers pay a €1 deposit, which they receive back when they return the cup. There is no membership or other usage fee for customers. Since RECUP is used in partnership with many German cities, users can borrow a cup near where they live and return it along their commute or near where they work.

RECUP estimates that they have avoided 11,000 metric tons of CO2 and saved 43,000 trees, 40,000 metric tons of waste, and 23,000 metric tons of crude oil.

To learn about other reusable cup and container programs, click here for a comprehensive list of programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe (soon to include the rest of the world). 

Opportunities for Action 

Included below are a few featured campaigns you can join to make a difference towards a future focused on reuse and reusable systems. Know of a project we should feature here? Let us know at

Crowdfunding Campaigns 
  • Petal, makers of refillable, natural, and zero-waste hand soap available in easy to use pods currently has a crowdfunding campaign for future equity.
  • Good Club, a UK-based zero waste online grocery, selling staples in returnable refillable pots with free monthly carbon neutral delivery, has raised over £1 million in its ongoing convertible round crowdfunding campaign.
  • Prep to Your Door, zero waste, plant-based meal delivery in returnable glass jars currently available in Austin & Houston, is crowdfunding to expand into other Texas cities.
Reuse Advocacy Campaigns
  • Habits of Waste's #ShipNaked campaign urges Amazon, Target, and Walmart to avoid unnecessary packaging when shipping our products.
  • City to Sea's #ContactlessCoffee campaign works to keep reusable coffee cups on the menu as we reopen from COVID-19 shutdowns.
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