From zero-waste food deliveries to self-serve refills, the era of zero waste in business is growing here in B.C. When the pandemic hit we saw that more people were ordering delivery, shopping online, and trash was starting to pile up. More businesses started to take a look at their packaging and more consumers are caring these days about the packaging of the products that they buy.
Zero Waste Trend on the Rise
The detail on the packaging and the overall branding might be less important to consumers today than it is to find packaging that is made with recycled materials, or that is able to be composted easily. These are strong points of differentiation that can help one company stand out from another.
Many consumers today want that convenience and some don’t mind paying a little more if it means doing some good and contributing to a zero waste business by doing it.
There are services that deliver bulk grocery orders, milk bottles that get refilled, and other refill services, even zero-waste takeout food operations too.
Mason jars, paper and silicone straws, compost forks and boxes, there are many ways that businesses can get creative with trying to reduce their waste in their business operations.
Even big names today have committed to being zero waste operations within a few years from now, whether or not they might get there and achieve that goal is another thing to be seen.
The trend is here to stay though, companies today need to be concerned about their footprint and the waste that their products contribute to the environment.
Unnecessary and wasteful packaging on products is something that can also easily become ridiculed online as well. When this happens and those stories and images go viral, with people commenting on how ridiculous it is to be that wasteful in packaging etc, this can easily go on in contributing to a negative branding moment for the company. That might be an event that might be hard to recover from.
Mindful business practices are how one can move in the direction of looking at what needs work still and where there can be improvements made to work toward a more zero waste approach in business.
Some businesses in Vancouver that have made it a mission to value zero waste business initiatives, who are looking at reducing unnecessary garbage in packaging etc, include names like SMAK in Vancouver, SPUD, Herbaland, Translink, Safeway, and others.
While the packaging design can influence purchases, there are often more important components of packaging and product that are going to influence whether someone goes with the product. In different regions around the world we have seen that surveys show people are willing to pay for products that avoid plastic packaging.
There is power in purposes with businesses today
Some surveys show that people would be willing to switch from a normal product that they buy for an alternative with a clear mission, knowing that their money is going toward just more than that product or service alone.
There are many belief-driven buyers who are going to make purchases that are strongly linked with their preferences and personal identity, issues that are important to them for example. When a business can successfully capture that interest in pairing with the right cause, it can be significant in attracting new audiences.
When brands are socially responsible and have those missions they have been seen as more trustworthy and have captured more support in the market compared to businesses that don’t have that mission. It can be done by any business as well, big or small, when a business wants to link with a cause and solve or reduce waste issues at the same time as doing business.
Those who support purpose-driven companies have also been shown to be more willing to share with others about their experiences, essentially doing their marketing for them.
Trying to reduce waste isn’t that controversial, but sometimes there are efforts in that direction that might work in a negative fashion though. When brands try to engage in business with a purpose and become vocal on certain political issues it might harm the company rather than help. Some investigations have found that consumers would be willing to boycott a brand or avoid it based on certain social issues it might be public on or side with.
However, planting trees and trying to run a cleaner business operation isn’t and shouldn’t be that controversial. It’s better for everyone and it isn’t forced onto anyone, it’s up to those businesses to forge their own path in how zero waste they want to be. These are trends that are going to shape the next decade and are going to transform a number of spaces and products, they already are.
We can still get great products and find value even while pursuing those zero waste business methods. If people are willing to open their wallets and want to support those Eco-friendly trends then we can assume it’s only going to grow and impact more businesses around the world today.