Reusable packaging is a USD 10+ billion innovation opportunity that can deliver significant user and business benefits. Innovative reuse models can unlock significant benefits, enabled by digital technologies and shifting user preferences. Such models can help deliver a superior user experience, customize products to individual needs, gather user insights, build brand loyalty, optimize operations, and save costs.
Reuse presents an innovation opportunity to change the way we think about packaging from something that’s simply as inexpensive and light as possible to viewing it as a high value asset that can deliver significant benefits to users and businesses.
According to Ellen Macarthur Foundation (2019) , the 6 benefits of reuse are:
Business-to-consumer reuse models differ in terms of packaging “ownership” and the requirement for the user to leave home to refill/return the packaging.
Here are depicted the “Four Reuse Model”, which are new ways to rethink packaging
Source: Reuse: Rethinking Packaging – Ellen Macarthur Foundation.
Refill at home can work in both traditional and online retail. The model works particularly well for e-commerce as the online interface enables communication of an integrated solution and at the same time there I no competition for shelf space from products sold in standard packaging
Current examples of Refill at home include:
Refill on the go requires a physical store or dispensing point, which makes it better suited to traditional retail outlets and urban environments. In low-income markets, the model can accommodate customers’ needs for small quantities at affordable prices without relying on single-use sachets.
Current examples of Refill on the go include:
Return from home is suitable for e-commerce as the pickup of empty packaging can be combined with the delivery of new products. It is particularly well suited for urban areas with reduced travel distances between deliveries.
Current examples of Return from home include:
Return on the go is widely applicable as it can substitute most single-use packaging without changing the fundamental purchase situation.
Current examples of Return on the go include:
1.Traditional retail outlets for beverages where the model has been proven to work at scale in several geographies (e.g., Latin America, Japan, and Europe);
2.Cities and events for products on-the-go such as takeaway coffee, beverages, and food.