Opportunities for reusable packaging

Recycling belt

40% of our waste is packaging alone. While packaging materials may be recycled after use, within the circular economy, reuse may offer an opportunity to increase sustainability benefits while reducing our waste production and resource use. A new paper by Utrecht University circular economy experts tackles this issue.

The authors, including Patricia Megale Coelho, Dr Blanca Corona, and Prof Ernst Worrell from the Towards a Circular Economy and Society hub of Pathways to Sustainability, provide a clear reusable packaging classification. They also review the environmental and economic impacts of reusable packaging and discuss barriers and opportunities for reusable packaging from retailer, producer, consumer, and policy perspectives

A new look at reusable packaging

The paper has already received attention from experts and from the academic and business sectors. By providing information from a practical and scientific background, the paper can help consumers, start-ups, business, and governments to look at reusable packaging from the right angle.


The study is the result of a collaboration between Utrecht University, the Consortium for Research into Sustainable Packaging (CRiSP), and the Netherlands Institute for Sustainable Packaging, KIDV. 


Sustainability of reusable packaging–Current situation and trends

Patricia Megale Coelho*, Blanca Corona*, Roland ten Klooster, Ernst Worrell*

Resources, Conservation & Recycling: X, 2020