Report published on new business models that cut back on single-use plastic
Research conducted at the SCI by Mariel Vilella, Director of Global Strategy at Zero Waste Europe, in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives and Break Free From Plastic, looks at examples of successful business models that are successfully contributing to the reduction of single-use plastic consumption, exploring their impact and the key conditions for their replication and growth.
The report, supported by the Simon Industrial and Professional (SIP) Fellowship, explores the emerging trend of pioneering start-ups that follow the zero waste philosophy and make an explicit commitment to avoid single-use plastic. This field is showing continuous growth, tapping into a growing zero-waste customer base.
The report presents a sample of five case studies of successful business models that have reduced the amount of plastic used in Southeast Asia, providing additional insights into the barriers and enablers in the development process. The sample includes: barePack, reusable containers for food meal deliveries in Singapore; NUDE, a refillables shop in Malaysia; Toko Organis, a refillables shop in Indonesia; Refillables Hoi An, a packaging-free shop in Vietnam; WorkingMum Periods, producing reusable sanitary pads in the Philippines.
The report finds that, as part of a multidimensional approach to tackling the plastic pollution crisis, the zero waste, plastic-/packaging-free and reusable product businesses are currently demonstrating some needed changes with groundbreaking results.
These plastic-free businesses prove to be highly transformative and are bringing innovation to the sustainability agenda. Thus the report calls for this growing trend to be supported and scaled up to ensure it is accessible, affordable and convenient for the majority of the population.
Ultimately, the report calls for reversing the ever-increasing trend in plastic production and use, and setting global limits for virgin plastic production, following a peak in packaging and other single-use, disposable plastics. This transition requires the fundamental transformation of the single-use plastic regime into a zero-waste circular economy, where production and use of single-use disposable products is limited to the bare minimum.