Defining Reusable Container Programs

Reusables - Explain It To Me Like I'm A Five Year Old

These definitions are meant to guide full transparency as to how DreamZero and our customers performance data is presented.

Also be sure to review our "How Reusable Container Programs Work" resource that breaks down the various models and types of programs currently in place around the world.

App (Application) - A mobile application designed to assist in the tracking or gaining access to reusables.

See also “Web App”

Average Daily - Used to describe the time period in which a number of reusables were used within an average 24 hour period. Daily is determined by dividing total annual uses by 365.

BYOC - Bring Your Own Cups/Container programs are managed by facilities that serve owners who bring their own reusables with them.

Cups - This definition includes hot and cold cups. “Reusable Cups” are distributed as part of a “Reusable Program” and do not include “BYOC” or “Cups” or “Containers” for “Final Sale”.

Commercial Grade Washer - There are 4 main sorts of commercial dishwashers: under counter commercial dishwasher, glass washer, door type commercial dishwasher, and conveyor commercial dishwasher. Washer must achieve a washing temperature of 85 degrees celsius.

Containers - Food containers that are meant to contain dry or wet food. “Reusable Containers” are made of any material that is inherently reusable.

Diversion From Landfill - The weight or number of items not going to landfill as a result of reusables.

Diversion From Disposal - The weight or number of items not being recycled, composted or sent to landfill/incineration as a result of reusables.

Diversion Rate - As a result of Reusables, calculating a Diversion Rate looks like this

All Beverages Served In Reusable Cups Used In A Day


All Beverages Served In Day (Landfilled, Compostable, Recyclable, Reusable)

ie 233 beverages were served in reusables and 67 were served in disposables (233/300= 0.77), the diversion rate is 77%

Also see Offset

Deposit Program - A Reusables Program that accepts a deposit of money in exchange for the rental of a Reusables item. The deposit may be of cash, chip/token, or held on credit.

Offset - The number of items “Offset” by use of Reusables is calculated through # of beverages or food servings served, and may vary from number of cups or containers used as Reusables may be used multiple times within a given time period. An Offset Rate and a Diversion Rate may be the same if both are considering total number of items served.

Also see Diversion Rate

Private Reusables Program - A Private Reusables Program is program where access to Reusables is limited by membership, access or geography. For example, MUUSE is limited to people paying for monthly memberships. Or, a restaurant that limits access to its customers only and does not allow for the items to be returned at communal locations (ie white labelled gods). Or, a cruise ship has reusables that are not allowed to leave the vessel.

QR - QR Code or Quick Response Code is a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) that is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached.

Reusable - Any food Container or Cup that can be used consecutively 25 times or more when washed in a commercial grade washer.

Reusables Program - Includes both “Deposit Programs” and “Private Reusables Programs”. Does not include events.

Reusables in Rotation - The total number of Reusables in circulation

RFID - Radio Frequency Identification tags are small chips that are attached to or implanted in a container or cup. The tags contain information that can be read at short range via radio waves. The chip and reader don’t have to touch.

Three Sink Method - The washing of Reusables in a 3 compartment sink, with soap, hot water, and sanitizer, respectively.

Vendor - Any restaurant, cafe, or other business that is actively distributing reusables within a program on a continual basis.

Venue - Any facility that distributes reusables for a confined period of time. For example, Coffee Cups are used at a Coffee Festival for the duration of one week.

Washing Standards - Standard Operating Procedures that guide the hygienic maintenance of washing reusables according to the legal standards of the

Web App - An application that is accessible through a browser and assists in accessing or tracking reusables. Not a mobile app - See “App” above.

Zero Waste - The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.

As Per ZWIA -

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.

For sporting events, restaurants takeout, delivery, patios, and parties -whether you need 100 pieces or 10,000 - we offer reusables solutions to meet your needs.

Check out this resource if you want to learn how to use reusables at events.


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