Let's Be Eco Friend(s/ly)

In 2017 David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II comfortably became the most watched programme of the year with images of albatrosses feeding their chicks toothpicks and turtles swimming among plastic sacks have taken recycling to the top of the political agenda, attracting 14 million viewers, it touched the conscience of many a consumer and boardroom alike.

Single use plastics

Retailers are keen to show consumers that they are green, recycling-friendly, fair-trading, waste-conscious, socially responsible and energy-conserving. Many have spent millions of pounds on improving their merchandise, supply chains, systems and stores to make themselves greener and more ethical and have become more insistent on obtaining sustainable and Fairtrade.

Green retail involves both supply and demand

  • Retailers want to be greener operationally, to sell more green merchandise, and to gain a commercial advantage by being green.
  • Customers often want to be greener and do their best for animal welfare, the environment etc and their families. However they are not experts, they can be cynical, and even those who want to do the best need better information to make sensible decisions.

Reducing Waste
Reducing waste has also involved retailers and their suppliers redesigning thousands of customer display packs, consignment packages and packaging to use fewer resources and create less waste. However packaging is not created purely to make merchandise desirable, it has an important role in keeping goods safe, tamper-free and unbroken. Some minimum degree of packaging will always be required, if only to prevent waste occurring. 

Ryder Hub has re-engineered the packaging of all it’s Myga Yoga line to make all disposable packaging that comes around the product or is used for transportation is recyclable. Likewise Phoenix Fitness is having all plastic packaging removed and being replaced with recyclable substitutes should as paper and card.

Greener products
For several years, retailers and manufacturers have been redesigning many of their products to make them more sustainable and less energy and carbon intensive. Many retailers have focused recently on products that create problems when they pass through the sewerage systems into the sea, and add to the plastic already there. This was part of the public campaign against free plastic bags. Several retailers are pledged to eliminate cotton buds that have plastic stalks, to eliminate plastic microbeads from their own label products and to negotiate with suppliers about withdrawing branded products with plastic microbeads from sale.

Adidas have announced the integration of recycled plastics into their clothing ranges and Selfridges banning single-use plastic drinks bottles. Single use plastics are a huge issue and the government is forecasted to be bring in a tax on all single use plastics, companies like Pret a Manger is meeting the problem head on with eliminating water sold in plastic bottle sand opting for selling the customer a reusable metal bottle and offering to fill it freely at certain stores nationwide.

Plastic alternatives could prove rich pickings for companies. Revenues at a company which makes compostable plates, cutlery, and food containers reached £20m last year because it's products are made of plant-based materials including sugar cane, they can be treated as food waste. Source Telegraph 

If you are an individual or organisation looking to address a environmental problem Ryder Hub can supply eco friendly options reusable metal bottles, metal drinking straws, bamboo drinking straws, bamboo or vegetable oil based cutlery and tableware to name a few.

All are subject to minimum order quantities but dependent upon order size there are branding opportunities.  Interested ? - drop us a line.

However don’t be naive enough to think they can clean up the oceans or significantly cut waste on our own. With plastic production rates still going through the roof it’s going to take a mixture of political action, consumer interest and all sorts of businesses and technologies – that is if we can solve the problem at all, but we can all do our bit to try and make things better.