Bring It Back Fund

Two people passing three Tupperwares of food to each other.

The Bring it Back Fund

The Bring it Back Fund helped to kick-start reuse systems for food and drink packaging in the UK. Hubbub, created The Bring it Back Fund in 2022 in partnership with Starbucks, using the funds generated by the 5p cup charge. The fund awarded £1.4m to six innovative projects across the UK, exploring how reuse systems can work in range of different environments.

As well as bringing reuse to new audiences, these six projects have valuable learnings on what makes reuse systems succeed, and how to get people to make the switch to reuse. The Bring it Back Fund impact and learnings report brings together these learnings to support and inspire future reuse systems.

Reuse system sounds technical? What does that mean?

When we say ‘reuse system’ we mean where reusable packaging can be borrowed and then returned to be used again and again. An example is paying a deposit for a plastic pint cup at a concert, and getting your money back when you bring back to a bar, or a cup-scheme where you can borrow a reusable coffee cup and then return it to a different cafe on your way home.

Reusable packaging systems help make reuse more convenient, by removing the barrier of having to remember, carry and clean your cup, bottle or lunchbox

What do successful reuse systems have in common?

Hubbub supported the six projects for a year, and based on the learnings from all projects have put together five ingredients for success that all reuse systems need.

5 ingredients for success:

  1. Make reuse as close to as convenient as single use by removing as many friction points as possible

    for example offering lots of opportunities to return packaging and carefully consider the use of apps which can put people off.

  2. Create clear and consistent communications to explain how it works and what the benefits are of using it

    across a range of channels including social media, outdoor and digital advertising.

  3. Emphasise the environmental benefits of reuse

    and don’t assume the public understand why it’s preferable to recycling.

  4. Keep down the cost of use and offer incentives or rewards to take part and return.

  5. Strong buy-in from teams delivering the reuse scheme on the ground

    so they understand why reuse is preferable to single-use and can promote it to customers.

What to learn even more? Dive into the full report
The Bring it Back Fund - Impact and learnings
See what the projects set out to achieve in 2022

Want to cut down on single-use packaging?

  • If you don’t have a reuse system near you, discover our tips on how to remember your cup, bottle and lunch box. You'll be rewarded at lots of coffee shops for remembering your reusable.
  • Grabbing coffees at work? How about setting up ‘borrow’ box in the office with reusable cups and Tupperware that everyone can use and return.
A coffee cup with "Borrow, return for £1" written on it, being filled with coffee.

Keen to cut down on plastic?

Single-use wrappers, cups and containers can really stack up – that's why we’ve sorted through the noise to give you this 6-step guide on how to make reuse on the go easy.

Are you a business that wants to collaborate?

Got your own challenge or idea for a project? We love to hear it, let’s talk!