Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2361
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2361
23 Oct 2023
 | 23 Oct 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Tipping dynamics in packaging systems: How a bottle reuse system was established and then undone

Mila Kim-Chau Fiona Ong, Fenna Blomsma, and Timothy Michael Lenton

Abstract. In this paper we investigate the initially successful transition from regional bottle reuse for mineral water to a widespread bottle reuse system in Germany, its subsequent destabilisation, and what this teaches us about tipping dynamics in packaging systems. Our aim is to understand how the speed of sustainable change is influenced, focusing on key actors from business and policymaking. Building on current research on positive tipping points, our case study demonstrates opportunities to create an enabling environment for change, the role of specific reinforcing feedback loops in accelerating sustainable transitions, and a successful business innovation and technology intervention. However, it also demonstrates the threat of destabilisation from the emergence of competing technologies, in this case single-use plastic bottles, and what we can learn from the unsuccessful business and policy efforts to stop the decreasing market share of reusable bottles. A failed policy intervention illustrates the consequences of rushing into a flawed solution. We reflect on our findings considering current efforts to (re-)establish reuse systems as part of a transition towards a sustainable circular economy.

Mila Kim-Chau Fiona Ong, Fenna Blomsma, and Timothy Michael Lenton

Status: open (until 20 Apr 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2361', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Dec 2023 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Mila Ong, 18 Apr 2024 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2361', Anonymous Referee #2, 22 Mar 2024 reply
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Mila Ong, 18 Apr 2024 reply
Mila Kim-Chau Fiona Ong, Fenna Blomsma, and Timothy Michael Lenton
Mila Kim-Chau Fiona Ong, Fenna Blomsma, and Timothy Michael Lenton

Viewed

Total article views: 460 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
306 129 25 460 15 14
  • HTML: 306
  • PDF: 129
  • XML: 25
  • Total: 460
  • BibTeX: 15
  • EndNote: 14
Views and downloads (calculated since 23 Oct 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 23 Oct 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 457 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 457 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 18 Apr 2024
Download
Short summary
We investigate the initially successful transition from regional bottle reuse for mineral water to a widespread bottle reuse system in Germany, its subsequent destabilisation, and what this teaches us about tipping dynamics in packaging systems. Our findings demonstrate opportunities to create an enabling environment for change, and the role of specific reinforcing feedback loops and interventions in accelerating or impeding sustainable transitions.