Winners of The Reusies™ Announced by Upstream and Closed Loop Partners


October 01, 2021

Inaugural National Reuse Awards show, hosted by TV personality and science communicator Danni Washington, celebrated four heroes of the Reuse Movement

Last night four heroes of the reuse movement were announced as winners of the National Reuse Awards (aka The Reusies) among an audience of policymakers, investors, corporate and NGO leaders, and other influential attendees working towards a world without waste. The virtual awards show was presented by Upstream, a non-profit sparking innovative solutions to plastic pollution, in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, a circular economy-focused investment firm and innovation center.

“Never has recognition of heroes in the reuse movement been more crucial as we experience the multiple effects of climate change and plastic pollution in the air, on land and in our oceans,” said Matt Prindiville, CEO and Chief Solutioneer at Upstream. “The recipients of The Reusies are true trailblazers and game-changing innovators of the growing reuse economy. In the not-too-distant future, our hope is that the leaders we’re honoring today will have scaled reuse systems and passed policies in communities throughout the world that make it possible to get what we want and need without the waste.”

Recipients of The Reusies accepted their honor during a one-hour event hosted by TV personality and science communicator Danni Washington. The winners are:

  • Activist of the Year: Crystal Dreisbach

    Crystal founded Don’t Waste Durham and has since created GreenToGo, Bull City Boomerang Bag, and The ReCirculation Project. She helps lead their policy work on bags and serviceware and, in 2020, co-founded the Reuse Systems Alliance made up of 35+ reuse companies around the world. Crystal uses her activist platform to build awareness and catalyze action by running workshops and giving talks to a wide range of audiences. “Change is made by demonstrating that new, better ways are possible!”

  • Fan Favorite Reuse Company (which was based 100% on public vote): Plaine Products

    Plaine Products is working to make the world less trashy with its reusable aluminum containers for hair and body care products. The bottles are made to be durable so they’re not damaged when customers ship them for refilling. They’re also easily cleaned so they’re safe to use multiple times over.

  • Most Impactful Community Leadership: Reusable LA

    Reusable LA is a coalition of organizations working to reduce plastic pollution in Los Angeles to safeguard public health, communities, and the environment. They use legislative advocacy, outreach, and community engagement to promote reuse and refill in Los Angeles and to reduce waste from single-use plastic products and packaging. Reusable LA has taken a leadership role in promoting reusables through policy advocacy with campaigns like #SkiptheStuff and ensures its tools and resources reach LA’s diverse communities.

  • Most Innovative Reuse Company: Rheaply

    A leader in the circular economy, Rheaply is a Chicago-based technology company that enables organizations to share and manage underutilized inventory in a more cost-efficient, collaborative, and connected manner. With Rheaply’s Asset Exchange Manager (AxM)TM, organizations can gain transparency about and re-utilize available assets, reducing procurement & storage costs, and avoiding unnecessary waste.


Added Bridget Croke, managing director at Closed Loop Partners: “Scaling reuse systems is critical if we are to address the mounting global waste challenge. The winners of The Reusies demonstrate how individuals and organizations are paving a better pathway forward, working to protect our precious planet by keeping valuable materials in play and out of landfills and the environment.”

The awards were interspersed with thought leadership panels, moderated by Washington, discussing the importance of advancing a more circular economy that included Prindiville and Croke, alongside visual artist and activist Benjamin Von Wong and  Fast Company senior staff writer Elizabeth Segran.

The inaugural show also featured a performance by singer Kori Withers, followed by a virtual party and networking reception for VIPs (“Very Important Protectors” of the planet). For those who could not attend and would like to view bonus footage of the evening’s panels, go to Upstream’s YouTube channel. You can learn more about all the finalists and what was featured in the show by visiting The Reusies official event program. There will also be an episode on The Indisposable Podcast with the full panel discussion in the future; to sign up to receive more information, visit

“The simple fact is that the planet is our spaceship. If we can reconnect people back to the planet, back to earth, back to nature, and see the importance of shifting out of this mode of extinction and wasteful practices, that reconnection will invigorate the reuse movement even more,” commented Washington.


About Upstream: 

Upstream is an environmental non-profit sparking innovative solutions to plastic pollution by helping people, businesses and communities shift from single-use to reuse. The organization’s first-ever National Reuse Awards (aka The Reusies), will took place virtually on September 30.To learn more about all Upstream programs, visit and follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube.

About Closed Loop Partners:

Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project-based finance and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. The firm has built an ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs, industry experts, global consumer goods companies, retailers, financial institutions, and municipalities, bridging gaps and fostering synergies to scale the circular economy.