Current levels of plastic and packaging production, consumption and resource use are hugely damaging

Let's move to reuse for the health of people and the planet.

What is reuse?

Reuse is a system in which products and packaging are conceived, designed and placed on the market to accomplish multiple trips or rotations within their life span. Products or packaging are designed so that they can be returned to a producer and then used again for the same purpose by another user.

Why reuse?

Almost all sectors are dependent on single-use packaging, with plastic being one of the main packaging materials. This is leading to a record-level of resource use and packaging waste. In the EU, on average, 174kg of packaging waste was generated per person in 2018.

Single-use packaging is fuelling the triple climate, biodiversity and pollution crisis...

Did you know that if Europe were to transition to 50% reusable packaging for take-away cups, food containers, household care products and e-commerce, with accessible distribution and take-back systems by 2030, we would save:
3.7 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions
10 billion cubic metres of water
Nearly 28 million tonnes of materials


We demand that national & EU decision-makers make reuse the new normal.

View our full policy demands here.

  • Set effective reuse targets for packaging and products, together with an overall reduction target for packaging put on the EU market.
  • Harmonise packaging types to enable the scale-up of reuse and refill.
  • Harmonise reuse infrastructures and systems and set minimum requirements for the implementation of deposit return schemes (DRS). Take-back systems should be accessible to all, and not require specific skills or equipment.
  • Adopt economic incentives that support reuse.
  • Restrict the use of certain single-use packaging, in particular where reusable products or systems are possible or consumer goods can be handled safely without packaging.
  • Adopt measures to support the transition to reuse in the HoReCa sector.
  • Set a requirement for retailers to sell part of their products in bulk.
  • Regulate green claims to prevent unverifiable claims of reusability and labelling as being reusable. Address consumer confusion through explicit wording explaining how and by whom the item is intended to be reused.
  • Monitor progress on the transition towards reusable packaging and products, and measure the environmental impacts associated with the transition.

We call on producers, retailers, cafés &restaurant chains to have
#WeChooseReuse at the core of their business model.

  • Commit to a plastic footprint reduction policy, in order to dramatically reduce single-use plastic production and use.
  • Avoid false solutions, such as single-use bio-based, biodegradable and compostable alternatives.
  • Remove hazardous chemicals and materials from their products and choose toxic-free materials and products.
  • Publicly reveal action plans with a timeline, which shows measurable, independently audited results by 2023.
  • Collaborate with producers, retailers, governments, and NGOs to create scalable, standardised and reusable solutions — including support for ambitious legislation that rewards plastics reduction, incentivises reuse systems, deposit return schemes, and penalises the overuse of plastics.
  • Reinvent delivery, retail and takeaway systems that disincentivize single-use, throwaway packaging; and prioritize significant investments in reusables and refill systems.

We demand that local public authorities choose reuse for a circular economy.

  • Promote local, environmentally-friendly alternatives to single-use and implement economic incentives that support and prioritise reuse, such as deposit systems on reusable containers for beverages and food, or free tap water in public spaces.
  • Deliver clear and locally-tailored communications, explaining not only how, but also why, reuse is important to reduce harm to the natural environment and support the economy.
  • Introduce relevant local ordinances that prohibit and tax single-use items to facilitate greater reuse and repair initiatives.
  • Adopt public procurement policies that prioritise reuse services and products within municipally-run and sponsored events and facilities.
  • Monitor and analyse remaining residual waste, to identify products and materials that need to be redesigned for reuse.

Find out more in our
Realising Reuse report

Citizens across Europe are looking for Cilternatives to single-use packaging for their health and that of the planet
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