Retail waste is an issue for every store owner, regardless of what you sell. Reducing retail waste is not only beneficial for the environment but can also help foster goodwill with customers. Many of today’s shoppers want to buy from stores that reflect their environmental values, and your retail space can easily become the eco-friendly store your shoppers are looking for. Follow the steps below to reduce waste, and go green at your store today.
Recycling is the obvious first step to reducing retail waste. However, going green is about more than simply hiring a recycling service. There are many other strategies your store can use to recycle more and waste less.
Using a compactor not only reduces waste but also greatly increases the sustainability of retail waste disposal and recycling, as Lane Powell, new business development manager for Harmony Enterprises, explains:
“Compacting helps the environment by using less waste bags (indoor waste), reducing the required number of waste hauler pulls per month (thus lowering carbon emissions) and requiring less space in landfills that are already burdened by an overflow of waste.”
If you run a relatively large store, a trash compactor might be just what you need to both reduce your waste and lower disposal costs. Check with your current hauler to see what kinds of compactors they offer. A few different types to consider include:
Packaging materials make up a large percentage of the retail waste stream. In fact, despite major strides in reduction, packaging still accounts for nearly one-third of all U.S. municipal waste. This makes reducing the amount you use a key factor in creating an eco-friendly retail environment.
Pro Tip: Look Into Eco-Friendly Retail Packaging
There are many eco-friendly packaging solutions out there, but perhaps the most visible example for your customers is recycled shopping bags. Earthpack is a recycled packaging company based in Irvine, California. They work directly with retailers to design customized shopping bags using recycled paper and plastic. You can also order branded tissue paper and boxes to add a nice, sustainable finishing touch.
For even more eco-friendly retail packaging options, check out the Green Packaging Group. This group of three like-minded packaging companies offers eco-friendly alternatives to virtually every packaging supply you might need, including boxes, bags, bubble wrap and even air pillows.
While packaging waste is an issue for nearly every retailer, other areas of concern will be specific to your store and the particular products you sell. A retail waste audit will reveal your biggest sources of waste, so you can better prioritize your reduction plans.
Before starting your waste audit, make sure you have:
If it isn’t feasible to ask employees to carry out a waste audit, check whether your recycling company offers this service. If so, they will run through the above steps themselves, providing you with a detailed report after they complete the audit. Use the findings to further reduce your waste, starting with your biggest waste categories.
By increasing your store’s recycling rate, compacting trash, minimizing packaging and conducting an audit to further reduce retail waste, you’ll show your increasingly eco-conscious customers that you’re truly committed to going green.