Are Consumers Ready to Dispose of their Waste at Retailers?
TRENTON, New Jersey, July 2, 2013
– The history of retailers collecting recyclables from their customers is evolving, if slowly. At first this started with small independent grocery stores collecting plastic bags or other items. But today consumers are clearly becoming more eco-aware, which is creating a demand for major retailers like Whole Foods Market, Best Buy, and Sur La Table to place collections in their stores.
The trend of retailers collecting recyclables started in “crunchy”, more sustainable cities like Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado, where there were several small, independent grocers. These were community-based grocery stores where local residents could drop off their recyclables. Inspired by this other communities began collections as well. These collections, however, were not necessarily for recyclables. One collection was Box Tops for Education. Another type of community-based collection is the Paper Retriever Recycling Bin. This dumpster sized recycling bin is a free collection where students can place their paper recyclables – they are often found in school, city and retailer parking lots.
Recently, this new trend has been popping up more and more. Major retailers are starting collections for a variety of recyclables and even non-recyclables. Whole Foods Market has several collections. They accept corks from wine bottles, plastics made from #5 propylene, and plastic bags from other retailers. Of course, I periodically check the bins at my local Whole Foods and they are usually fairly empty – even in a relatively affluent and aware consumer base like Princeton, NJ. They also have recycling bins and compost buckets in their cafeteria. Best Buy has an e-waste recycle collection. You can bring in your used electronics to any Best Buy location and they will recycle them for you – however sometimes this service comes at a cost for the consumers. Best Buy also offers other programs to help collect your used electronics. Best Buy will remove your old TV or appliance when you buy a new TV or appliance from them. They will also remove used TVs or appliances from your house for $100, if you are not buying a new TV or appliance from them.
The latest major retailer do start a recycle collection is Sur La Table. Sur La Table has partnered with Illy Caffé to collect Illy Caffé’s iperEspresso capsules. The iperEspresso capsules are made of #5 polypropylene, which is collected by only about 5% of municipalities. Illy Caffé wanted to find a way for their customers to enjoy their coffee and still be environmentally friendly. This is why Illy Caffé introduced iperEspresso Capsule Recycle Program. This program allows the capsules to be recycled.
There are three ways to recycle the capsules.
The first way is for illy a casaSM members. Illy a casaSM members receive their capsule recycle program as a complimentary service as part of your free membership.
The second option is to drop off the capsules at you local Sur La Table. The final option is to buy a recycle kit. If you are not an illy a casaSM member and there are no Sur La Table locations near you, you can purchase a kit by calling illy Customer Care. There has to be an 80 capsule minimum when sending in your capsules.
The demand for more recycling collections in stores is a new concept. Although many people recycle and try to be more eco-friendly, recycling in your grocery store, your electronic store, or your favorite kitchen store is taking green a step further. The question is, are consumers ready for this change? Will they collect their waste and bring it with them to stores? Or box it up to mail it in for recycling? TerraCycle is guessing that enough will!
Tom Szaky presented an exlusive i2live webinar entitled: "Turning Waste Packaging Into Massive Equity" on April 17th,2013. Get the transcript here
Related News: this box contains exclusive content that is accessible only to Industry Intelligence subscribers. Click a link to learn more.
- Seventy percent of US merchants experiencing an increase in sales through online and mobile channels in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to American Express survey; 40% of consumers view online shopping as riskier than in-store shopping
- More US retailers coming out with special apps that clerks or customers can access on their digital devices to help in-store customers, the latest attempt by these companies to bring customers back to stores this holiday season
- US shoppers begin at least preparing for holiday shopping well before Black Friday; in 2015, 20% of shoppers had made holiday purchases by Nov. 1, 41% had begun looking for ideas, 34% had begun research: Criteo
- Forty-four percent of US shoppers plan to spend more on their holiday shopping in 2016; 72% of shoppers would be enticed by promotions or coupons to shop at a store they have not used in the last year: Accenture survey
- Sixty-one percent of US holiday shoppers plan to spend more this holiday season than last, with one in three saying they will spend at least US$200 more; 40% of shoppers feel they will find best discounts on Black Friday: RetailMeNot