Frequently Asked Questions (U.S.)
What is a circular economy?
A circular economy is an economic system where resources are continuously used and any sort of waste is limited or even completely eliminated. Beer bottles are a good example: after they are returned, bottles are thoroughly sanitized and used again. An average beer bottle is refilled 15 times before it is recycled! We envision the same for Reusables. But closer to 1,000 times :)
Are Reusables safe in COVID?
COVID-19 mainly spreads person-to-person through respiratory droplets when someone sneezes, cough, or talks. Although it is possible for the virus to remain on surfaces, there is no evidence that food is associated with spreading COVID-19. Because Reusables are cleaned in a commercial dishwasher, eating from our containers is no different than using dishes at a restaurant.
Isn’t compostable packaging the best option?
Compostable containers are becoming more popular among restaurants, but, unfortunately, it takes a much longer time to break down, causing contamination in the organics waste stream. As a result, compostables end up in landfills just as non-recyclable containers.
1. How does it work?
Ask for Reusables when ordering at our partner cafes. The staff will direct you to tap your payment card on our reader. When you are finished with your drink, rinse the cups, and return them to any of the return locations.
2. Can I use Reusables through delivery services?
For now, Reusables are only available through in-person pickup.
3. Does is cost anything to participate?
Reusables are completely free to borrow! We are making reuse convenient, affordable, and accessible to participate.
1. How long can I keep my Reusables for?
You can keep your cups and containers for up to 14 days.
2. How do I return?
Find the nearest return location to you. Once you arrive, find the Reusables return bin. Simply place the cup and lid in the bin. You will see a green light once the cup is successfully accepted by the bin.
3. What happens if I don’t return on time?
On the 15th day, you will be charged for the full amount of the container ($10-25 depending on the container type). If you return the container within the next 30 days, we will issue you a full refund.
4. Do I have to clean my Reusables before returning them?
Yes, please rinse your Reusables before dropping them off!
5. How do I know where to return my Reusables?
Check the map or click ‘See All’ Return locations near you to see the full list.
6. Can I return my Reusables to any location?
Yes! We try to make reuse as easy as possible :)
1. Is it possible to buy your containers?
Not yet. We aim to keep Reusables in circulation when possible to keep adding new store partners. In the future, we might design and sell our containers and cups.
2. Are containers and lids dishwasher safe? Microwave safe? Oven safe?
Our containers, cups, and lids are dishwasher- and over-safe, but please don’t put them in the microwave.
3. What are Reusables made of?
Our containers and cups are made of stainless steel (up to 75% recycled content) and have food-grade silicone lids.
4. What happens to Reusables at their end-of-life?
Stainless steel can be infinitely recycled without loss of value. As for the silicone lids, we partner to repurpose them into field and playground cover material.
1. Is reuse better than compostable packaging?
Unfortunately, compostable packaging isn’t as harmless as a lot of people think. For most compostable containers to be properly turned into organic materials, those packages often require commercial composting infrastructure. Currently, City of Vancouver doesn’t operate such a facility, which causes compostable containers polluting recycling streams or ending up in landfills.
2. How does Reusables’ carbon footprint compare to single-use packaging?
The carbon footprint of one container reused is 60% lower compared to most single-use containers! It also uses less water and have a lower biodiversity loss index.
3. What are the benefits of reuse?
Reuse prevents us from waste ending up in our natural environment while having a lower carbon footprint with each container cycle. Reuse also has economic benefits, where the cost of packaging comes down over time for food businesses. We also chose stainless steel and silicone because of lack of health concerns associated with materials such as plastic.
What are you doing with my payment information?
Reusables.com is not storing your payment data. We are working with a payment processor to be able to securely pull it up only in case you don't return Reusables within 14 days.