Why a waste management plan is better for business in the retail sector:
As more and more consumers seek out retailers that focus on sustainability, it’s essential that you incorporate sustainable practices as this can take your business to the next level.
The first step for retail stores is to get a waste management plan in place to deal with the vast amount of waste generated from all the packaging materials their products come in. The good news is that much of this packaging can be recycled in South Africa. This means that recyclables get into the recycling stream early on, driving the circular economy and reducing demand for raw materials, all the while diverting waste away from over-burdened landfills. Isn’t this something you’d love to share with your customers? It’s a win-win.
We offer a free waste audit and can assist with designing a tailor-made waste management programme for you, so that you can start your sustainable business journey today.
4 steps to better waste management for retail stores
Encourage shoppers to take part in recycling initiatives.
Many businesses are encouraging consumers to recycle products and packaging when their use comes to an end. Some brands have created recycling programmes to reduce the waste footprint and prevent the waste from entering the waste stream.
Many retail outlets are offering incentives for consumers to participate in recycling efforts. One such example is The Body Shop’s Refill Stations and Recycling Programme. Customers can bring their empty Body Shop bottles and containers and can refill certain products or receive cash off on new products bought.
Retailers can create take-back programmes reducing e-waste.
Waste generated by the disposal of electronic devices is called “e-waste”. Disposing of e-waste is difficult, since, from 2021, e-waste is prohibited from being disposed of into landfills. (According to the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, (59 of 2008) Norms & Standards for the Disposal of Waste to Landfill).
One solution is a clever take-back programme by retailers and distributors, which will reduce e-waste finding its way into landfills. Consumers are often delighted to find somewhere to dispose of their old electronics. It’s a rewarding option to return these items to where they will be legally and responsibly disposed of.
Take-back programmes generate revenue for retailers by reusing or reprocessing such e-waste (Apple is a good example of this). Some of the e-waste materials extracted include gold, silver, aluminium, copper, and iron.
Reducing the amount of packaging waste.
Shipping materials and packaging form part of the waste streams found in the retail sector. Even online shops can’t escape this as there is still a main warehouse where the sorting and forward-shipping of orders is done.
One of the main functions of packaging is to protect the product inside the packaging. However, this often leads to over-packaging – an unfortunate but necessary by-product of eCommerce to prevent breakages during deliveries. Protecting products comes at a high cost for waste disposal.
More retailers are becoming increasingly aware of the over-compensation of packaging and are looking at ways to solve this. This especially applies to the so-called cardboard economy. Retailers are reaching out to their customers and asking for feedback regarding waste reduction ideas. Some ideas include: packaging returns on follow-up orders; changes to packaging designs that mean fewer materials used or better design for recyclability; and even using reusable products in packaging.
Hire a waste management expert for retail outlets.
This is perhaps the most immediate and accessible way to effectively reduce your business’ waste.
Waste management is an ongoing challenge for most retail operations. The volumes of waste generated often fluctuate, which can present a logistical challenge for both retailers and recycling companies.
Mpact Waste Management is an on-site waste management service provider that can offer an adaptable programme, which will assist with the monitoring of all your waste. We will conduct a waste audit to accurately assess the amount of waste generated. This will determine the best ways to manage recyclables and get them into the recycling stream, as well as dispose of non-recyclables, food waste, hazardous waste, and e-waste.
Our partnership with Mpact Recycling enables us to offer you a trusted, reliable, and efficient collection service.
Together, We Can Take on the Challenge of Reducing Waste in the Retail Sector
Retail operations are facing many challenges – the South African economy is still struggling; consumer spending has decreased and eCommerce is fast gaining traction and, as a result, many brick-and-mortar stores are closing. Thinking out of the box and making smart decisions is now more important than ever.
Reducing waste through a responsible waste management plan is one practical way that retailers can save on revenue. Retailers with a vision on long-term successes should be exploring this option. On-site waste management is not only more cost-effective, but in some instances you could even create an income stream from your waste like this client of ours did.
At Mpact Waste Management, we take care of both individual stores and the largest retailers in South Africa. Let us conduct a free waste audit to assess your waste generation. Our waste management services include a tailor-made solution that will suit your waste management needs. Our efficient waste management programme will not only reduce the amount of waste and recyclables reaching South Africa’s landfills, which saves our municipalities money every year, but also supports tens of thousands of jobs in the recycling industry, the South African packaging industry, and of course, through collections be it formal or informal.