Research on a 
U.S. Reusable Container System

 

Hello! This is where I share my research on how the US could best implement a networked, nation-wide, reusable container system. 

I believe we need a nation-wide system to ensure reusable containers are:

  • accessible, useful, and convenient for the public
  • affordable for small businesses
  • uniform, so that reuse of materials will be successful and more efficient  when containers are no longer usable
  • not causing additional transportation carbon emissions
  • locally owned
  • not monopoly owned 
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The Story Within Containers: why would we all benefit from a well-planned, universal reusables program?

Recycling in the United States has not been a success. For decades, we have been adding recyclable materials to landfills. In 1960, the United States landfilled more than 82 million tons of materials, over 30 million tons of which was material considered “recyclable.” The amount of recyclable material headed to U.S. landfills has steadily increased since the 1960s, despite countless efforts to incentivize recycling and innovate recycling centers across the country. The flow of recyclables has been too complex for us to successfully recycle many of the materials our society uses, and decade after decade we have lost the recycling battle. What can we learn from our recycling history to ensure the story doesn’t repeat itself with reusable packaging?

Key Components that an Organized, Nationwide, Reusable Container System Offers:

CONVENIENCE
NATION-WIDE AVAILABILITY
AFFORDABILITY
LOCAL AGENCY
LOWER TRANSPORTATION EMISSIONS
REUSE OF MATERIALS AT END-OF-LIFE

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Meet Your Host

I recently graduated from Vermont Law School’s Master’s program in Food and Agriculture Law & Policy. I have been considering how the US could implement an attractive reusable container system for years. I’m here to learn, here to share some ideas, and here to hopefully find out your thoughts on those ideas. 

Annalise
(she/her)