SHARED USE IS BETTER
Here are the 4 main reasons it’s not only better, it’s a whole lot better.
So firstly what do we mean by ‘shared use’?
So firstly what do we mean by ‘shared use’? At Returnr, we develop amazing reusable containers, bowls, cups and lids that are designed to be used with takeaway food, beverages and with home delivered groceries. Eliminating the need for single-use throw-away packaging. Our products are also designed to be shared. Meaning that in almost all cases end-users don’t buy and own our products, but rather they borrow them, use them, and then return them for reuse. They share the products with other users. This is ‘shared use’ as opposed to ‘buy & own use’, where a user purchases a reusable bowl, cup or container for their own personal use.
So why is ‘shared use’ so much better than buying and owning a reusable product? Here are the 4 main reasons it is better.
1/ Larger impact with less resources
Sharing reusable products allows for each reusable product to have a larger impact, eliminating more single-use pieces of packaging than a buy & own alternative. How so? I hear your ask.
With our in-market experience, we have seen that shared products spend less time idle at home, on a desk or in a bag. They tend to be returned, where they can be washed and reissued into the pool of users. This enables a single reusable product to be cycled more times in any given week, month or year. Eliminating more single-use pieces of packaging from being created and thrown into landfill.
2/ Always available, no excuses
One of the biggest weaknesses of ‘buy & own use ’ is that the user must bring the reusable product with them in order to use it. This invariably leads to situations where the user forgets to bring their reusable cup or bowl, it isn’t convenient for them to bring it, or the one they own is dirty or unavailable. This ultimately means users have to either adopt a disposable takeaway packaging option, or elect not to takeaway. A poor outcome.
With a shared product system, users can borrow more than one of any type of container at any one time. If they forget their cup or bowl they can simply borrow a second item and return both at their next visit. This creates a more fluid dynamic where users really do have no excuse for using single-use packaging options, they simply borrow again.
3/ Enable venues & businesses to ban single-use
One of the most powerful aspects of a share use system is it allows cafes, restaurants and workplaces to completely ban single-use packaging.
As a global community we are moving toward a future that doesn’t include single-use packaging waste. Until recently, one of the strong arguments against implementing wide spread single-use packaging bans was the lack of alternative solutions for users. Buy & own products have only been able to achieve 40% adoption rates (in best case scenarios), and suffer from the availability issues mentioned previously.
Shared use systems that are implemented well, while being low cost and easy to adopt enable cafes, restaurants and workplaces to implement complete bans on single-use packaging without impacting negatively on sales. As witnessed when Returnr & St Ali served 3,000+ cups of coffee (in 3 days) with zero single-use cups being used at the Big Design Market in Sydney.
4/ Sense of community
One of the often forgotten strengths to a shared use system is the sense of community and good will it can create as a group of citizens work together for a better overall outcome for the planet.