October Reusables Roundup

October 2020 saw governments take action on single-use, major brands announce their future reusable programs, and small programs are looking to expand.

For DreamZero the month started off with what we had hinted at in our September roundup, we had been selected to bring Muuse to Canada! We are so thrilled about this opportunity as the Muuse products are very much needed to help lift the reusable options in the Canadian marketplace, and of course, it is an honor to work alongside such a talented team.

We are currently reviewing applications from cafes for the Muuse reusable cup pilot happening in Toronto shortly, and we are booking site visits in the coming weeks. An announcement about containers will happen shortly too :)

In addition to all the Muuse news, we've got our 16oz Customizable Reusable Cups and our new "Closed Loop Catering Kit" up on our site and generating interest.

As mentioned last month, we recently signed in support of the Sustainable Event Alliance's effort to define "Global Reusables at Events Hygiene Best Practice" document. The scope of the document is to focus on addressing any potential hygiene concerns and supporting event organizers and suppliers with consistently implementing reusables at events to a global best practice standard. In light of COVID-19 concerns, SEA feels the reusables industry needs to better communicate how it works to protect customers health through its washing and tracking practices, and that the SEA efforts are of utmost importance at this time. Click on the image below to view the report.

Now, what else has been happening in the world of reusable?

On October the 7th, the government of Canada announced that it will be banning a number of single-use plastic items including black plastic and styrofoam takeout containers. States-side, Maryland becomes first state to ban styrofoam takeout containers.

Toronto continues to be a hotbed of reusables in the world with numerous programs in place, including Lark, Circulr.ca, Roncy Pickup, InWit, Suppli, Case, ReeGo, Cup Collective and Unboxed Market (and I know there's at least one more, forgot the name of it, whoops).

Some of the announcements made this past month include Loop's continued effort to partner with big brands in the fast-food arena. Last month we wrote about how the McDonalds programs will work in combo with the Loop App.

This month Restaurant Brands International (owner of Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes) announced that Burger King and Tim Hortons have developed a partnership with Loop to offer reusable packaging in 2021. Tim Hortons says it expects that over time, the Loop program will have a growing number of drop-off locations — both at Tim Hortons restaurants and elsewhere, further confirming the predictions we made in last month's roundup.

Side Note: Loop, is of course a very different company than Loop Industries, which has recently imploded with accusations about the validity of its recycling technologies.

The announcement was part of a series of sustainability focussed updates that Tim Hortons made during Waste Reduction Week. Timmy's also shared details about their launch of their "Everyday Cups" (for-sale reusables) and the increase of post-consumer recycled material in their regular single-use paper cup, and the introduction of paper straws. The company announced plans to give away nearly two million reusable cups back in February but had to pause the plan due to the pandemic.

None of these announcements should come as a surprise, Loop is partnering with major brands around the globe, and sustainable goods are accounting for half of the market growth among consumer packaged growth, this despite that sustainably marketed products only account for 16% of the CPG market - so why wouldn't a big brand jump into reusables??

Loop recently won Packaging Europes 2020 Sustainability Award for innovative packaging. According to Life Cycle Analyses verified by a third party, Loop’s tote is environmentally beneficial when compared to a cardboard box made out of recycled fiber. While creating a Loop tote emits 0.804 kg CO2 compared to recycled cardboard’s 0.266 kg CO2, the Loop tote environmentally surpasses cardboard after three usage cycles.

There have been lots happening in the area of funding reusables including £2m available for projects to create smart and sustainable plastic packaging in the UK, Zero grocery had recently announced a 3 M USD investment, and numerous crowdfunding campaigns including Trashless, AgainAgain and Green Caffeen are currently in play.

As for on the ground success of reusables, some happenings of note include:

  • Our new partner Muuse has recently launched in Hong Kong, which is showing very promising results already :)

  • Muuse is also working with food delivery firms to boost take-up rate of reusable and is making a significant impact in Singapore.

  • Our good friend Jocelyn of GoBox was featured on the Zero Waste Nation podcast where she updates us on everything happening at GoBox.

What we are reading this month:

An update to the OHIO Culinary Services Reusable Container Program

DreamZero is a strong supporter of reusable containers for food and beverage.

Scientists state reusables are safe and a recent Survey of Canadian Consumers Shows Strong Support for Single-Use Plastic Reduction Strategies.

To learn more about how your organization or business can integrate reusables or run your own reusable program, reach out to DreamZero and we can help :)

Thanks for reading this month's Reusables Roundup,

Scott J Morrison