May 13, 2020

#PlasticFreeJuly: do you care about your product’s packaging?

Packaging = garbage.

All packaging has some kind of impact on the environment. As a consumer, whenever possible, I search for companies that think smart about their packaging, from the material to the design, and are responsible for the waste they generate.

I’ve even stopped buying some things when I realized that it would be a lot of packaging generated. It just wasn’t worth it.

Recently, inspired by the #PlasticFreeJuly movement brands announced actions to reduce their production and disposal of the material. The movement, which began in 2011 in Australia, aims to raise awareness and invite everyone to reflect on the number of products that are produced, consumed and discarded on the planet.

Sustainability will always be important

So why postpone the decision to be more sustainable?

Thinking about reducing plastic, Pepsico has announced that the company will start selling drinkable water in aluminum cans in the United States. It is a good alternative since this material gets recycled more than the famous plastic bottles.

Photo: Aquafina

Speaking of it, the country is the 4th largest producer of plastic waste in the world, with 11.3 million tons of waste per year. Of this total, 91% is collected, but only 1.2% is effectively recycled.

Even Coca-Cola is already moving concerning the plastic waste generated. The company has launched the Beyond Packaging project, thinking on searching solutions for a world with fewer residues. The company will count with the help of startups, students and researchers for this.

Many of us are already asking for some real change

We are all consumers and many of us are already asking for a change in this highly plasticized scenario. Every trip to the supermarket is a mini heart attack when I realize how much garbage I will generate by taking certain types of products to my home.

Around 42% of Brazilians are changing their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

And this begins with the garbage that is generated. No wonder the #ZeroWaste movement has been gaining so much strength.

Rethink the materials used to produce the packaging. Rethink the amount of packaging. This allows you to reach new consumer niches, being possible to expand your environmental and also commercial awareness.

What do you know about Brazilian laws?

You should already know that your business needs to be accountable for the garbage it generates, right? The National Policy of Solid Residues is one of the main environmental legislation of Brazil which aims to reduce the number of residues directed to garbage dumps and landfills.

The law regulates reverse logistics, which deals with the impact of packaging marketed by companies. In addition to doing the homework, your company can position itself more sustainably and add that to its communication.

It is possible to generate even more value

Being sustainable is not hype (anymore). It is a necessity. The cosmetic brand Quem Said Berenice? has a reverse logistics project, Returns Berê. At every five empty packagings of the products, you get a code and can exchange the packaging for a new lipstick.

Another way of generating value while a brand and also for the planet is to realize the packaging environmental compensation. It is the process of compensating the negative impacts caused by your company’s packaging through direct recycling (of the own packaging) or indirect (of general residues).

This way, you guarantee that the same amount of packaging that your company produces is recycled. For each product sold, an equivalent amount of the same packaging material is recycled as well.

After the #JulySemPlastic is over, what else can you do?

It’s simple. You, as a brand, continue to implement changes and take responsibility for what you put in the world. And as an individual, everyone continues to do their part: refusing the unnecessary, rethinking, reusing and ultimately, recycling.

Companies that don’t change their practices will be left behind. Yours will not be one of them, right?

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