Here is our third of four posts this week on recycling products and reducing waste. For the prior posts, see 1 and 2. Because food packaging remains such a big ecological problem, we turn to another innovation. Reusable food packaging. While not as convenient for some consumers, a promising way for sustainability.


Returnr’s Reusable Food Packaging

In Australia, Returnr has creatively devised reusable food packages. Trendwatching named this an Innovation of the Day:

“Startup Returnr aims to replace single-use takeaway food packaging with a returnable and reusable stainless steel bowl. Users buying takeout at participating restaurants pay an AU$6 deposit to get their food in a Returnr bowl. After eating, they may return the bowl. Reuse it for their next takeout meal. Or keep it and forgo the AU$6. This month, Returnr became available when ordering from selected Deliveroo outlets in Melbourne.”

“Why we love this particular example: Sustainability as a Service. Most initiatives today focus on getting consumers to swap out single-use products by buying reusable alternatives. For instance, think metal straws and cotton tote bags. But in many contexts, ownership is inconvenient! Especially so for those used to accessing everything – from clothes to transport – at minimal upfront cost,. With near-instancy. And no ongoing maintenance. In contrast, Returnr’s novel business model offers customers all of the good without of the bad. In other words, how can you give consumers access to sustainable alternatives without any pain?”

Expectation Economy. During 2018, mainstream consumers finally woke up to the negative impacts of their ‘grab-and-go’ mindsets. Since then, we’ve seen countless innovations flood this space. From Revolv running a similar returnable container initiative in Bali. To Unspun 3D-printing zero-waste custom fit jeans in Hong Kong. With each eco-innovation, consumer expectations around reducing waste move up a notch. Then another innovator comes along with an even more sustainable solution. Which raises customer expectations further. The secret to watching trends is to relentlessly ask yourself. Which innovations are raising expectations among our customers?”

Next, click the image to read the full Trendwatching story.

Reusable Food Packaging

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