How is Waste Having a Negative Impact on the Retail Sector?

Consumers want to associate with retailers that focus on sustainability, and this can take your business to the next level. Retail stores generate a lot of waste due to the packaging materials their products come in. Fortunately, much of this packaging can be recycled in South Africa.

A waste management programme will pave the way to a better tomorrow. We can assist with designing a tailor-made waste management programme for you.

4 Steps to Better Waste Management for Retail Stores

1. Encourage Shoppers to Take Part in Recycling Initiatives.

When a product’s life cycle comes to its end, many businesses are encouraging consumers to recycle those products. They 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 shoe recycling programme Adidas launched in 2012 when they encouraged customers to bring their old shoes of any brand into an Adidas store.

Adidas partnered with a cement company and the shredded shoes were used as an alternative fuel source to power the cement kilns.

2. Retailers Can Create Take-Back Programmes Reducing E-Waste.

We refer to waste generated by the disposal of electronic devices as “e-waste”. Disposing of e-waste is difficult, since, from 2021, e-Waste is prohibited from being disposed of at landfills. (According to the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, (59 of 2008) Norms & Standards for the Disposal of Waste to Landfill).

A clever take-back programme by retailers and distributors will reduce e-waste finding its way into landfills. Consumers are often incredibly happy to find somewhere to dispose of their old electronics. It is a rewarding option to return these items where they will be legally and conscientiously disposed of.

Take-back programmes generate revenue for retailers by reusing or reprocessing such e-waste. Some of the e-waste materials extracted include gold, silver, aluminium, copper, and iron.

3. Reduce Packaging Waste.

Shipping materials and packaging form part of the waste streams found in the retail sector. Even online shops don’t escape this as there is still a main warehouse where the sorting and forward-shipping of orders is done.

Much of the eCommerce waste generated results directly from over-packaging. This is an unfortunate but necessary by-product of eCommerce to prevent breakages during deliveries. Protecting products comes at a high cost for waste disposal.

Retailers are fast noticing the over-compensation of packaging and paying more attention to detail. This especially applies to the so-called cardboard economy. Customers are encouraged to give their feedback regarding waste reduction ideas such as packaging returns on follow-up orders, changes to packaging designs and using reusable products in packaging.

4. Hire a Waste Management Expert for Retail Outlets.

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.

We are an onsite waste management service provider that can offer an adaptable programme, which will assist with the monitoring of all waste. We will conduct a waste audit to accurately assess the amount of waste generated and will be able to determine the best ways to manage recyclables and dispose of non-recyclables.

Together, We Can Take on the Challenge of Reducing Waste in the Retail Sector

Retail operations are facing challenges that have never been faced before.  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 responsible waste management systems is one way retailers can save on revenue. Retailers with a vision on long-term successes should be exploring these options. Onsite waste management is one such option where you can save.

At Remade Recycling, we take care of both individual stores and the largest retailers in South Africa. Let us conduct a free onsite audit to assess your waste generation. Our waste management services include a tailor-made solution that will take care of your waste management needs. Our efficient waste management will reduce the amount of waste and recyclables reaching South Africa’s landfills.