Portland-based reusable packaging startup, Bold Reuse, is joining forces with New Seasons Market to launch a pilot program aimed at encouraging consumers and food producers to reuse glass packaging. The program is designed to reduce waste by collecting, sanitizing, and redistributing glass jars and bottles for food manufacturers.
The pilot, which began this month and is set to run until early 2024, has been supported by an $87,000 grant from Metro. Bold Reuse’s initiative expands on their existing business model, which focuses on helping enterprise customers integrate reusable packaging into their operations. For the pilot, Bold Reuse is collaborating with New Seasons vendors such as Ground Up Nut Butter, Hot Mama Salsa, Sauvie Shrubs, Mickelberry Gardens, and Sibeiho.
The process is simple: customers purchase the products as they usually would, and when they have finished using the glass containers, they can drop them off at a Bold Reuse collection point in any New Seasons store. Bold Reuse will then collect the jars and bottles, sanitize them at their facility, and redistribute them to participating vendors for reuse. Products involved in the program will be labeled “Return me for Reuse.” A similar program has already been implemented at the Moda Center, focusing on plastic concessions packaging.
The pilot is supported by Waste-Free Advocates, New Seasons, Metro, and local industry consultant Hannah Kullberg, who runs the PNW Packaged Food & Beverage Group—an online community for hundreds of food manufacturers.
Kullberg emphasized the need for a new system of reuse, as rising glass packaging costs are forcing manufacturers to turn to less sustainable options such as pouches and plastics. She stated, “We need to develop a new system of reuse to allow makers to continue using the highest-quality packaging for their products.”
Bold Reuse, formerly known as Go Box, has been working with New Seasons for several years, providing reusable packaging for the deli counter. In the past four years, the partnership has resulted in 76,000 reuse cycles of packaging across all 19 New Seasons locations.
Athena Petty, Senior Manager of Sustainability at New Seasons, expressed the importance of sustainable packaging strategies that allow customers to reduce their environmental footprint. Through this pilot program and the support of Metro, they aim to build the infrastructure necessary for achieving that goal.
Jocelyn Quarrell, CEO of Bold Reuse, shared the company’s objective to create a sustainable system that food manufacturers and retailers can easily access as the service expands nationwide.