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Reusable Packaging Can Elevate the Customer Experience in Ways Single-Use Cannot

The benefits of single-use over reusable products made sense in 1934 when a glass vessel was the only reusable option. But, modern technology offers more benefits than just glass.

Daniel Velez
Daniel Velez
5 min read
From left to right: Ember Mug, Growlwerks uKeg Go, Growly Delivers Classic Glass Growler, Limeloop mailer.
From left to right: Ember Mug, Growlwerks uKeg Go, Growly Delivers Classic Glass Growler, Limeloop mailer.

My phone can’t function without electricity and I can’t function without breakfast, preferably a hot one. I walk into Black Seed Bagels and order a ham, egg, and cheese. I’d like to eat this bagel right out of the oven but dine-in is not allowed to due COVID (understandable). The bagel artisan wraps my breakfast in wax paper and puts it in a brown paper bag. These weak defenses stand no chance against the frigid winter temperatures of New York City. Two blocks and one elevator ride later, warmth is only a distant memory for my bagel.

In the end, I paid $15 for a lukewarm bagel. Would I have paid an extra dollar for my bagel to be packaged in an insulated steel container? Absolutely. It would have definitely been worth another dollar to make my breakfast experience more satisfying.

My poorly packaged bagel is an example of the customer experience suffering due to low quality, single-use packaging. The handmade salted bagel was delicious but my experience suffered because the packaging had no insulation. The paper bag was designed to hold items for a short period and then be discarded (and hopefully recycled). How many quality bagels, products, and goods have suffered a similar fate? Is low-quality, single-use packaging still the best experience for consumers? It’s clear it isn’t for the planet.


What do the iPhone, Model-T, and the single-use paper milk carton all have in common? They all created a better experience for consumers, profit for their companies, and a vast improvement over the previous technology. The iPhone made tactile phone buttons obsolete, the Model-T retired the horse and carriage, and the paper carton eliminated the hassle of reusable glass bottles for milk.

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