Exploring challenges and opportunities for food and drink packaging

We spoke to 40 organisations and conducted polling with 3000 people to find out the challenges and opportunities for reusable food and drink packaging systems in the UK. Read the report to discover our 10 recommendations to help reuse systems in this sector set up and scale.

How can we create a society where reusable food and drink packaging is the go-to for businesses and the public?

A whopping 1.2 million tonnes of packaging was produced by the UK hospitality sector in 2019 and 10.7 billion pieces of single-use packaging coming from lunch on-the-go every year.

With funding from Bunzl, we set out to discover how reusable food and drink packaging systems could be a viable solution to the waste created by single-use packaging. Our research has culminated in Reuse System Unpacked, a report sharing practical insights from across the sector and highlighting the 10 key themes to help reuse systems for food and drink set up and scale.

Dive into the report

We interviewed 40 organisations in the UK and Ireland, from start-ups and reverse logistics companies to brands and policymakers, to get their insider knowledge on the challenges and opportunities for reusable food and drink packaging. We also carried out polling to discover what would encourage people to use a reusable packaging scheme, and what might put them off. The results revealed that 73% of people in the UK think more needs to be done to make it easier to choose reusable alternatives to single-use food and drink packaging.


Access the full raw polling data here

What’s next for Hubbub’s work on reusable food and drink packaging?

We’ll be supporting projects in this space through the Bring It Back fund, a £1m grant fund run in partnership with Starbucks, which builds upon our work supporting the circular economy through the Circular Future Fund with the John Lewis Partnership. We’ll also be looking to put our learnings into practice by running behaviour change campaigns to encourage more uptake of reuse and refill solutions with food and drink retailers – stay tuned for updates.

If you’d like to discuss our findings on how to design and deliver successful reuse systems for food and drink packaging, get in touch!