I was inspired by the story of The Fillery in Brooklyn, NY. Not only does it has a goal of reducing the use of single-use plastic packaging, it also aims to reduce food waste.
Grocery stores or supermarkets need to be redesigned so that consumers can be able to close the loop in the plastics industry. It will be designed in a way that makes consumers stick to a refilling routine.
In the first image (green background) is a diagram detailing the efficiency of the system:
1. Customer buys container provided by a company.
2. Customer takes the container to its brand's filling station.
3. Customer buys filled product, not including the container.
4. Customer uses product at home. Customer can return to the store with the empty container for refilling (return to step 2).
5. Customer sells back the container if he don't want the brand anymore or is switching.
The next image is a sophisticated filling station. It could be a machine that emulates a filling component from a factory. The design of it can vary on what kind of product is filled.
In the third image, we need to emphasize interaction at the counter so that the customer can state how much he needs to the grocery clerk (or in the case of meats, a butcher). Why look at countless packaging for the amount you want when you can say how much you need? Grocery stores and supermarkets will need to provide reusable containers for such things as well.
In the fourth image, a container exchange station can work well as a customer service station. The value of the containers must be high enough as an incentive to sell back and not dispose of them.
In the fifth image, companies are inherently responsible for getting their products to market. Distribution can be designed in a way that ultimately uses the method of refilling and makes it a routine.
We currently have the technology to make this happen. We could slowly integrate the system into existing grocery stores/supermarkets or create entirely new markets with the system in place. Or we could do both at the same time...