Research and analysis

Bringing Reusable Packaging Systems to Life: Lessons Learned from Scaling Reusable Cups

Drawing on insights from multiple reusable cup pilots conducted in partnership with the NextGen Consortium, this report, Bringing Reusable Packaging Systems to Life, by the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, in partnership with IDEO, charts the way forward for durable reusable packaging systems that reduce the need for single-use packaging. In the report, the investment firm and innovation center outlines key lessons learned and shares a blueprint and open-source resource to encourage collaboration and the growth of reuse models.

Read the full report

About the Report


In our report, “Bringing Reusable Packaging Systems to Life,” we use reusable packaging as the starting point for exploring reuse models more broadly, and specifically, we explore reusable cup systems that could revolutionize the way we drink our morning cup of coffee or iced drink on-the-go. Through the efforts of the NextGen Consortium, we are testing, funding and scaling these systems. The report guides you through the learnings gathered thus far during this multi-year program, exploring the different facets of reuse models––and the systems within those models that produce, distribute, monitor, collect and sanitize cups to enable their use hundreds of times by as many consumers, across a range of differing environments. By sharing the learnings in the report we hope to provide you with guideposts, best practices, materials to consider and actions to take when thinking about partnering with or creating your own reuse system to advance the transition to the circular economy. 


How to Set Reusable Systems Up For Success

Engage Diverse Stakeholders

Make Sustainable Material Choices

Select the Perfect Spot

Choose the Right Payment Model

Optimize Health & Safety Protocols

Measure Impact and Success