We choose reuse - March 2024

22.03.24 01:50 PM By WasteMINZ

This reuse blog, We Choose Reuse, brings you stories from the frontlines of reuse, in the hope it provides inspiration to others. We will be publishing this blog on a quarterly basis so send any reuse initiatives to sarahp@wasteminz.org.nz to be included in the next one.

​Kirikiriroa kicks the cups! Hamilton’s reusable cup programme

More than 2000 disposable cups have been diverted from landfill in six weeks through a new initiative, Let’s Reuse Hamilton, that enables people to borrow a reusable cup from selected Hamilton cafes.

All participating cafes have opted into the Again Again system. When customers visit, they can download the Again Again app, scan it at the counter, and borrow a stainless steel cup. When they’re ready for their next coffee, they return their cup to any participating café.

Some participating cafes have also created their own ‘ugly mug library’ - an eclectic collection of mugs, which customers can borrow from. The establishment of a reusable cup system in Hamilton as a viable alternative to single-use for takeaway customers has already opened the door for even greater avoidance of single-use packaging by enabling one of the participating cafes - Weave Eatery - to take the step to go entirely single-use cup free, starting in April 2024.

The project is being delivered by Impact Hub Waikato and funded through Hamilton City Council’s Waste Minimisation Fund.             

Grab the ​growler: Again Again tackles beer

Craft beer lovers can now reduce their impact on the environment through Again Again’s new reusable “growler” programme. The programme aims to replace industry-standard, non-recyclable, brown PET litre bottles with reusable glass bottles that consumers can fill via beer sold on tap. 

The growler project means up to 50 individual breweries will be funded to pilot reusable bottles for beer on tap. Again Again's technology integrates with point-of-sale (POS) software, so customers don’t need to download an app. The bottles can be dropped back the next time the customer is in store. 

The pilot aims to convince both consumers and the beer industry that reusable packaging not only enhances the product experience but also delivers tangible business and community advantages. The project will highlight the potential for the craft beer industry to transition from a linear economy to a circular economy, where sustainable practices drive profitability (managing and washing reusables can cost just two thirds of current single use packaging for breweries) and environmental stewardship.

The growler project is supported by co-funding from the Ministry for the Environment's Te Tahua Pūtea mō te Kirihou Auaha - Plastics Innovation Fund, Garage Project, and the Glass Packaging Forum.

​Doing good through reuse!

Resource recovery networks are a brilliant avenue to provide a helping hand. 

The team at EcoShop (EcoCentral Reuse and Resale shop at 191 Blenheim Rd, Christchurch) have been helping out a wide range of social agencies for a number of years. The shop supports families and households to set themselves up with basic necessities like kitchenware, furniture and beds - almost anything that is needed to give people some extra support to live with dignity. 

The team doesn’t try to replicate the wonderful work done by social agencies, but works with them to provide good quality items to support the delivery of their social good.

The EcoCentral team loves being part of this reuse initiative, especially knowing that people’s unwanted goods are being given another lease on life and that the team are making a difference at the same time.

They also gets a kick out of seeing some of the goods come back again when they are no longer needed. Circular reuse of goods!

Find a ​Repair Café! 

Reuse is about extending the lifespan of existing products to displace the new for new products to be created. This is why repairing, and the organisations that undertake repair mahi, are such a critical part of the reuse economy. 

Looking for somewhere to get your stuff repaired? Repair Café Aotearoa NZ and Ehubs have a map of all the Repair Cafes in Aotearoa that operate under the Repair Café Aotearoa NZ banner.

Check it out here.

This blog is proudly brought to you by the WasteMINZ Reuse Working Group. The Reuse Working Group is an initiative of the Product Stewardship Sector Group but is supported by other WasteMINZ sector groups. Its main purpose is to raise the profile of reuse and make it more talked about than recycling.