One Up From Recycling. Zero-Packaging Stores Lead The Way Combating Our Single Use Addiction | Valdamark

Most shoppers who purchase packaged goods from the supermarket console themselves with the fact that they can recycle much of the materials, but this is a band-aid solution.

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To get to the heart of the problem one must avoid packaging to begin with.

Our addiction to single use packaging has become an epidemic.

It can be wrapped, sealer or vacuum packed, regardless these waste promoting consumable systems have become part of our daily lives.

Packaging goes back a long way. Animal skins, leaves, ceramics, glass and tin have been used through the years to transport and preserve our foodstuff.

Then plastic was invented! Following this and since the end of the second world war we have become far more comfortable with this style of ‘throwaway living’.

Through the year the consequences of this way of this life are now very obvious on our planet.

Contaminated eco systems and damage to wildlife and our own human health have become widespread and highly visible.

Most of the packaging waste generated comes from food and drink packaging. In recent times we have become very conscious of recycling in the West but in honesty this is not an adequate solution to deal with the scale of plastic waste.

In Australia just 11.8% of the 3.5 million tonnes of used plastic were recycled from 2016/17.

Drastic action is what is needed!

Resistance from all parties can be strong at first. Consumers are used to convenience. Brands have to make extra investment. Packaging companies must adapt their solutions. Evidence shows though that at least the consumer is able to adapt relatively quickly when they understand the message behind the change.

The two biggest supermarkets in Australia recently started to phase out single use bulk bags .With these large shopping bags being replaced after just 3 months an estimated 1.5 billion large carrier bags have been stopped from entering the ecosystem. A fact the supermarkets are keen to share with their customers.

Independent Zero packaging food stores have become a great example for the larger chains. They are challenging the perception that individual packaging is necessary in the modern food industry. Not so! They say.

Things You Need to Know About Recycling Zero Packaging

In today's world, we often buy products packaged in single-use plastic, glass, or other materials. What if we could reuse this packaging instead of just recycling it? This idea is at the core of Loop, a global waste management and reuse platform created by TerraCycle.

Problem with Single-Use Packaging
Every year, 141 million tonnes of plastic packaging are produced globally, leading to 1.8 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions. Recycling helps, but only 14% of plastic gets recycled. The real issue is that we use products for a very short time and then dispose of them.

Birth of Loop
The inspiration for Loop came from realising that recycling alone can't solve the waste problem. It only addresses the symptoms, not the root cause. To truly combat waste, a platform was needed to make reusable products accessible to brands, retailers, and consumers. Loop became that global platform, collecting, cleaning, and returning packaging for refilling.

How Loop Works
Loop is simple. In participating stores, there's a "reuse" section where favourite brands offer products in fully reusable packaging. Prices are similar to traditional options, but a deposit is charged for each package. When you finish the products, return the used packaging to any participating retailer. Loop collects, cleans, and sorts the containers, and brands refill them for another cycle. All deposits are returned to customers, no matter the condition of the packaging.

Importance of Convenience
Convenience is vital to Loop's success. Many reusable solutions make consumers work harder, discouraging adoption. Loop's goal is to make reuse as easy as disposability. By offering a seamless experience, it encourages a shift toward reusability.

Emulating Convenience
Loop's aim is to make reuse as effortless as tossing out trash. This approach prioritises convenience for brands, retailers, and consumers. The platform's motto is clear: "we need to make reuse feel like disposability." This way, waste can be reduced without demanding significant behaviour changes.

Loop's Partnerships
Loop partnered with over 200 major consumer product companies, including Procter & Gamble and Nestlé, and major retailers like Carrefour and Walmart. The same trusted products are available in reusable containers, ensuring consumers can maintain their shopping habits with ease. Convenience, product quality, and price are not compromised, and reusability fits seamlessly into the existing system.

Conclusion: A Sustainable Future

In a world struggling with the environmental impact of single-use packaging, Loop provides a practical solution without sacrificing convenience or beloved products. It offers a glimpse into a more sustainable future where waste is minimised, and the convenience of disposability integrates into reusable systems.

Loop proves that rethinking packaging can be both eco-friendly and consumer-friendly, bringing us closer to a circular economy where waste is no longer the norm. Recycling Zero Packaging is not just a dream; it's a reality with Loop.

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