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Refillable Plastic Packaging on Trend and on a Roll

Eight variations of a sustainable theme for refillable packaging range from reusable PET bottles of soap at Walmart to refillable bags for kibble at Petco.

Rick Lingle, Senior Technical Editor

April 20, 2022

8 Slides

Interest and applications in one of the original “Rs” of sustainability, reuse, are heating up.

Notably, it’s a brand-driven movement responding to consumers’ desire to reduce plastic waste. Since January 2021, familiar brand names like Dial, Dove, and Palmolive have all introduced refillable or reusable packaging. Food chains and retailers are also involved in testing or adopting Loop, the circular reuse platform. Examples include Burger King, Tim Hortons, and, most recently, Fred Meyer.

Suppliers, too, have directed research and development projects toward packaging specifically engineered for reuse applications.

How is this playing out in the market? We’ve gathered examples of all the above in a slideshow gallery that ranges from reusable bottles paired with water- and source-reducing pouches of concentrated product to bioplastic jars engineered to be reusable.

A literal example of a technology that's heating up things in reusable packaging is this pioneering application of plastic packaging for Opopop, a popcorn brand. The company offers a unique proposition for consumers who wish to conveniently enjoy microwave popcorn using a pop-up (appropriately) reusable silicon bowl. In January the brand expanded the reusable bowl platform with introduction of Peel + Pour Popcorn Cups. The lidded cups contained a premeasured portion of kernels in a flat cup that surround a convex donut-shaped center that houses the thick disc-shaped “flavor core” that has the cooking oil. The user peels the lidding, inverts the cup, and pushes out the flavor disc from the backside so it coats the kernels during heating in the silicon popping bowl. Just microwave, enjoy, and reuse.


About the Author(s)

Rick Lingle

Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday

Rick Lingle is Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree from Clarke College and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

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