4.1.2 What is Reuse?

Course subject(s) Module 4. Reuse of packaging

What is reuse? While the answer to this question may seem obvious, it is slightly more complex than it seems. In the video below, Bas Flipsen, senior lecturer at the TU Delft faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, discusses reuse as a circular strategy for packaging.

The Circular Economy System Diagram is published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, SUN, and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment; drawing from Braungart & McDonough, Cradle to Cradle (C2C). No other rights or permissions are granted beyond the bounds of this course.


  • Within the context of a circular economy, reusing a packaging item means to use it again for the same purpose, in its original form and without significantly altering or enhancing it.
  • Repurposing a packaging item at home, for instance to store other products or food, is not considered reuse.
  • Reusing a packaging item, rather than recycling it, preserves more of its embedded value in terms of energy, materials, labour and capital.
  • Reuse can be a good strategy for prolonging a packaging lifetime and can be applied to a product’s primary, secondary or even tertiary packaging.
Creative Commons License
Sustainable Packaging in a Circular Economy by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://online-learning.tudelft.nl/courses/sustainable-packaging-in-a-circular-economy/.
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