It is estimated that 85% of the plastic produced globally ends up in landfills, unregulated dumping sites, or is burned. In 2019, an estimated 22 million tonnes of plastic leaked into the environment, which is expected to increase to 20-53 million metric tons by 2030 on the current trajectory.

Reuse systems could cut plastic pollution by 30 percent by 2040.

Reuse is an essential tool in the fight against plastic pollution. A major new report to reduce plastic pollution is being shared with those working on the Global Plastics Treaty.

Making Reuse a Reality:

A systems approach to tackling single-use plastic pollution

Researchers are urging those meeting at the second Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2), to ensure that reuse systems are prioritised as a key solution to reduce the severity of the plastic pollution crisis.

Reuse can be defined as a comprehensive system with multiple rotations of reusable packaging that remains within the ownership of the system and is loaned to the consumer.

Take Action Now

Reuse is a solution to reduce plastic pollution, reduce plastic production, achieve climate targets, and more. It’s time to accelerate our action now.

Call for the Plastics Treaty to include legally binding, time-bound, and ambitious targets to implement and scale up reuse, refill, and alternative product delivery systems


A phased approach is needed to deliver economy-wide change from single-use to reusable packaging systems that can significantly reduce impacts on our climate, environment, biodiversity and health.

Many reuse systems are already developed, proven and scalable. Fundamental to true reuse systems is packaging on loan to consumers that is returned multiple times until a sustainability ‘breakeven point’ is achieved.

“This study is a significant evidence based global assessment of how we can swap wasteful single use packaging for reuse systems. It shows that there is no one-size-fits-all packaging material or system for reuse, but we know that it has to fit seamlessly into people’s lives and that has huge untapped potential to end plastic pollution. What we need now is a clear vision for reuse and the right support to mainstream it.”

Professor Steve Fletcher
Director of the Global Plastics Policy Centre at the University of Portsmouth

“The scourge of single-use packaging continues to grow at a pace beyond the capacities of existing waste management systems. Prevention is key; ramping up reuse systems is the most sensible approach to replacing single use plastics and dramatically cut plastic production. The plastics treaty discussions this week must lay the groundwork for this transformation.”

Von Hernandez
Break Free From Plastic Global Coordinator

“It is clear that reuse is much more than simply packaging, it is a system that needs all players in a global supply chain to take part. That’s why reuse needs to be right at the heart of the plastic treaty discussions this week, so that the operational nuts and bolts can be agreed and reuse can thrive and scale.”

Tiza Mafira
Executive Director Gerakan Indonesia Diet Kantong Plastik
Development of targets for the reduction, reuse and repair for plastic products

It is a join submission from Hasiru Dala,  Environmental Investigation Agency; Greenpeace International; ; Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) ; The Indonesia Plastic Bag Diet Movement ; Pacific Environment; Plastic Change; Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO); Sciaena; Retorna; and Yaksa Pelestari Bumi Berkelanjutan (YPBB)

PlasticsFuture 2023 conference

Revolution Plastics will bring together a wide range of stakeholders including researchers, community organisations, NGOs, industry, policymakers and practitioners from around the world to explore how we can catalyse sustainable transitions to halt the negative impacts of plastics.

PR3 Standards - Reuse Done Right

Over four years, drawing on input from across the value chain, PR3 created system design standards. With our partners around the world deploying standardized reuse, we are leading the creation of new interoperable systems so that reuse can be done right.

Global Reuse Summit during World Refill Day

World Refill Day is a global day of action to help people live with less waste and drive the transition from single-use to reuse. Our goal is to make as much noise about refill and reuse as possible, highlight innovation in the market, and encourage the public to choose to reuse on June 16th.

The first Global Reuse Summit - a digital event for change-makers, business leaders, policy makers and innovators to learn, share and be inspired was hosted on June 16th (World Refill Day), by City to Sea founder and award-winning campaigner and author Natalie Fee.

Watch the Summit Report Here
About the Report

The research by the University of Portsmouth’s Global Plastics Policy Centre, commissioned by the Break Free From Plastic movement, consolidates 320 articles and papers, plus 55 new interviews with reuse experts from around the world, to suggest a universal definition of reuse systems and, for the first time, assess how all nations can move away from throw-away packaging.

The review gathered evidence from multiple sources worldwide, including practitioner and academic publications and interviews with BFPF member networks, organisations, and businesses involved in reuse systems. The review provides a comprehensive analysis of reuse strategies, drawing on a diverse range of perspectives and experiences from around the world.

The study comes as government representatives meet in Paris to negotiate a global plastics treaty with a mandate to end plastic pollution.

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