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U.S. Plastics Pact Invites Innovators to Apply for Reuse Catalyst Program

The U.S. Plastics Pact is now accepting applications for its Reuse Catalyst, a program to accelerate development of scalable solutions for reusable and refillable plastic packaging in the United States.

“The Reuse Catalyst aims to bolster the development of emerging and established reuse innovators, and the broader industry, through shared learnings, expertise, connectivity, and amplification,” said Emily Tipaldo, Executive Director of the U.S. Plastics Pact, in a prepared statement.

“This program aligns with the U.S. Pact’s Target 2 in the Roadmap to 2025, specifically in increasing the amount of reusable and refillable plastic packaging,” Tipaldo added.

Applications will be accepted through Oct. 20, 2022, and businesses of all sizes may apply. There is no fee to apply or participate in the program. The Reuse Catalyst is a joint project of U.S. Plastics Pact, Closed Loop Partners, the Reusable Packaging Association, and World Wildlife Fund.

Businesses needn’t be U.S. Plastics Pact participants to apply, but they must be testing or piloting commercial reusable or refillable packaging models within the United States. Their models should be designed to collect qualitative and quantitative data on factors such as product performance, economic feasibility, solid waste prevention, and scalability to drive circularity.

“Reusable packaging models can play an important role in reducing single-use plastic packaging waste and keeping valuable materials in play,” said Kate Daly, Managing Director, Closed Loop Partners.

“It’s critical that a transition to circular and reusable systems is supported by data-driven insights and iterative testing to ensure we are, in fact, reducing the environmental footprint of packaging systems. The U.S. Plastic’s Pact’s Reuse Innovator Support Program helps us collectively drive toward this,” Daly added.

Judging criteria for applicants’ reuse or refill programs will include their programs’ environmental, social, and economic benefits as well as scalability.

Applicants chosen for the program will gain access to U.S. Plastics Pact’s network of more than 110 retailers, investors, and experts for mentorship, learning, and potential partnerships. The U.S. Plastics Pact will also convene meetings with participants to collaborate and discuss progress, impediments, and assistance.

In addition, Reuse Catalyst participants will gain brand recognition and visibility as official participants in the program. Those chosen for the program will participate for six to 18 months.

“As the preferred inner loop activity in a circular economy, the reuse of packaging products in a system of continuous purpose offers tremendous value-creating potential,” said Tim Debus, President and CEO of the Reusable Packaging Association. “Collaborations across stakeholders and service providers are important elements to optimize that value.”

He added, “The U.S. Pact’s Reuse Catalyst program will help reuse entrepreneurs tap into the pact’s collaborative network of experts to support their developing reusable or refillable packaging solutions.”

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