Sustainability efforts revolve around the three R’s: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. One of the most opportune spaces for eco-friendly change lies in food and beverage packing. There’s been an influx of biodegradable packaging, but the zero waste movement takes focusing on the Reuse aspect a step further by forcing the consumer to provide their own containers for commodities. It’s hardly a new concept – milk was often delivered in reusable glass bottles, with consumers incurring a small returnable deposit for the container. But with today’s consumers are on the hunt for healthy and convenient food option, the concept of Reuse is coming into play more often.

Boulder’s own Wonderpress is a humble testament to great quality of life. Transparent glass bottles with eye catching gold accents showcase the vibrant colors of juiced fruits and vegetables. Customers are charged a deposit for these containers and are encouraged to return them, but they can just as easily be repurposed for water or your own nut milks and juice concoctions.

Tyme, a “fast food” start-up based in New York, serves vegan meals in transparent rigid plastic jars. These containers can be reused, and when doing so, will earn you a $1 discount on your next meal. They are reshaping the concept of fast food, which we tend to associate with far that is greasy, fatty and certainly not vegan. This level of convenience combined with a sleek and sustainable structure is already making a splash and the company founders are already hoping to expand outside the New York area, and eventually drive down costs.

 

In Chile, a brand of movie theaters called Cinemark has introduced a reusable popcorn bucket. Not only is the structure more eco and user friendly than traditional cardboard buckets, it comes with peelable coupon labels that offer discounts – providing the consumer with additional value.

 

Talenti makes good gelato and a great container. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post.

Talenti gelato continues to make a splash on the frozen treat scene. Not only has it become the most recognizable gelato in the space, but the twist top plastic containers are shown to thrive beyond the often short lived life of their contents. From salads to craft supply storage, the full exploration of “pint-cycling” is embraced and showcased by the company on their Facebook page.

There is a lot of merit in companies providing reusable structures – not only for sustainability, but for brand recognition that lives on long after the food has been consumed.