Making circular living easy for people is the key to achieving our sustainability goals. The take-make-waste linear economy has excelled at making the disposal of products and packaging easy, but only if you consider the landfill an environmentally responsible solution (it’s not). Now we need to make collecting and reusing items as convenient as tossing packaging in the trash after one use. James Wilson, the founder of Hickory Corners, Michigan-based reUser, which is working to reduce the volume of food service and takeout packaging waste with reusable containers for college and corporate cafeterias, joins the conversation to discuss building circular services.

James Wilson, founder of reusable takeout packaging tracker reUser
James Wilson, founder of reusable takeout packaging tracker reUser, is our guest on Sustainability in Your Ear.

Currently available at Wesleyan, Trinity, and Cornerstone Universities, the reUser services combine convenient drop-off bins placed on campuses with a mobile app that helps diners track and return takeout containers and understand the impact of their reuse habits. reUser’s platform represents the beginning of a collection, cleaning, and reuse economy that could be attached to many linear customer experiences, such as the collection of e-commerce boxes from homes and offices, recovery of hard-to-recycle packaging, and, of course, in the fast food and quick service restaurant industry. There are many steps to master in any service experience, and reUser is an intriguing example of how local circular services could grow. You can learn more about reUser at

By Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch is the publisher at and Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation at Intentional Futures, an insight-to-impact consultancy in Seattle. A veteran tech journalist, Mitch is passionate about helping people understand sustainability and the impact of their decisions on the planet.