reduce reuse recycle pyramid


According to the EPA, REUSE and REDUCE are the most preferred methods of waste management (followed by recycling, composting, incineration, landfilling).



  • Reusing is more environmentally-responsible than recycling. Recycling requires energy, equipment, and other resources. Materials must be collected, transported, cleaned, sorted, and reprocessed in order to be converted into new products.
  • Reusable containers breed success: Providing consumers with a reusable polypropylene container has led to an increase in sales for companies such as Hillshire Farms, Butterball, Healthy Ones, and others. A large number of food processors have turned to reusable containers. Containers made of the same material as many food storage containers sold in department stores and supermarket shelves.
  • KFC Reusable Sides Container. 2010 Greener Package Award: Anchor Packaging designed and produced. The first quick-serve restaurant takeout container that has been specifically designed to be consumer-reusable, and made of the same materials as the leading food storage containers being sold on retail store shelves.
  • Consumers prefer reusable containers over recyclable or biodegradable containers. A large restaurant chain found through a series of consumer focus groups that their customers would rather reuse a container, instead of recycling.
  • Consumers have been found to re-use these containers for up to 6 months.
  • Heat-tolerant. Polypropylene containers work in microwaves, under heat lamps, and in warming units up to 230℉. Most Biodegradable plastic products are not designed to be heat-tolerant.
  • Durable and Leak-resistant. Heat and eat right from the container, without cutting, tearing, or breaking.
  • Dishwasher-safe. Clean up one container. Freezer to microwave to dishwasher to kitchen cabinet for use again.


And after a reusable 5_PP polypropylene takeout container is reused a number of times, it may be eligible for recycling. To find a recycling center near you, visit www.earth911.com, and type in “#5” or “POLYPROPYLENE” and your “zip code” in the 2 search boxes under FIND RECYCLING CENTERS.