Critics of refillables can easily cite situations in which they are not
apt, or raise the straw man argument of why using _only_ refillables
would have problems. An effective strategy would first introduce
them into use situations where they can work the easiest, then
once the infrastructure is in place, expand them to the ones where
there is still a benefit but where greater barriers need to be overcome.
Many beverages are consumed in relatively controlled environments (that
is, compared to households) such as work places, cafeterias, restaurants,
hotels, etc. These would seem to be easier situations to introduce
them (of course, not at those that use bulk dispensers). I haven't
explored the topic area but expect there are other use context that
are also quite amenable to refillables.
This issue is not unique--many topics would benefit from considering
them from a use perspective in addition to (and in some cases instead of)
a disposal/recycling perspective.