2 groups to watch in the fight against plastic waste

by | Nov 1, 2018

Shelton Insight

78% of Americans said they feel at least moderately responsible to change daily purchase habits and practices to positively impact the environment (EcoPulse 2017). 

Sustainability Win of the Week

In just the past week, two new large-scale plastic waste initiatives have been announced: Nextwave Plastics (in collaboration with IKEA and HP), and the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment (NPEGC), with over 275 corporate and government sponsors. Plastic waste – particularly marine plastic waste – and “closing the loop on plastic pollution” are topics we cover regularly here, and for good reason: not only is plastic waste a tremendous problem in the sustainability world, tackling it can be a driver for product and process development, new business models and better business overall.

The goals of the initiatives together make up a closed-loop system: eliminate the buildup of plastic waste by encouraging “100 percent recyclability, reusability or compostability in plastic packaging” (NPEGC), and encourage supply chains to reuse plastic waste as a raw material in the manufacturing of new products (Nextwave). Also crucial to both initiatives is the #LineInTheSand movement to stop plastic waste from entering and polluting our oceans.

Plastic waste management initiatives are on the rise and are expected to trend even more. Now is the time for companies to aggressively create solutions to address it. It’s not just about being left behind by the business pack – it’s about addressing consumer expectations. As the stat above reveals, consumers feel responsible to take action for the environment. But the truth is most Americans want Big Companies to solve these problems on their behalf, so that the only behavior they have to change is their buying behavior. We intend to probe on this more in our 2019 Pulse studies, but we hypothesize that the plastic drinking straw bans may “wake up” some Americans to their plastic use so they become more conscious overall. That consciousness – read guilt – may propel them to choose products not packaged in plastic if an option is available. So, innovate, solve the problem for your consumer, solve the problem for the world at large and you’ll have a winning value proposition.

News of the Week

Trending: Nike, Native Shoes projects helping shoe industry tread lighter – Sustainable Brands

We’ve been monitoring Nike closely since the start of the Colin Kaepernick campaign and their stand for social justice. Now Nike is taking up sustainability, too, with the “Circular Innovation Challenge”: a contest to encourage new product design based on post-factory and post-consumer recycled footwear content. (Read how the winner repurposed ground up rubber footwear into yoga mats and accessories.)

How one plant-based food company made sustainability a priority – Forbes

When a company comes along and makes powerful sustainability commitments with results to match, we’re happy to showcase their work. Read how Follow Your Heart, a plant-based food company and maker of the popular product Vegenaise, used energy and waste audits to identify room for sustainability improvement – and to develop creative solutions to boost recyclability of all parts of their products.

Earth is on track for climate catastrophe – what if brands are our lifeline? – GreenBiz

Check out our article in GreenBiz, hot off the press! Our founder and CEO, Suzanne Shelton, discusses the tidal wave of recent climate change news and how brands can cast a lifeline to protect the environment and secure brand loyalty along the way.

Do consumers really care whether brands take a stand?

Yes, they do. But your brand can’t choose just any stand and expect them to love you for it. Learn how social purpose can create connection with consumers.

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About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.

Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and GreenBiz.com.

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Courtnay Hamachek

VP Operations

Courtnay oversees our day-to-day operations to keep us running smoothly and support our growth. She establishes project management systems and processes to help our teams anticipate bottlenecks, prevent process issues, and keep projects on time and on target. Courtnay has built extensive experience over 25 years in all aspects of marketing, from account services and project management to design and production.

Aaron Crecy

Digital Marketing Director

Aaron is responsible for planning, executing and measuring digital marketing strategies for Shelton Group and our clients, with an emphasis on inbound, content, SEO, social media, email and paid initiatives. He constantly researches and explores new tactics and strategies to improve digital campaign performance and results.

Aaron brings to the table more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience with premium consumer-facing brands. He came to Shelton Group by way of Malibu Boats, where, as Director of Global Marketing, he oversaw strategic marketing planning and execution for multiple product lines, with specific emphasis on social media and digital. Prior to that, he served as CMO for a leading daily fantasy sports operator, guiding it from startup to the industry’s third-ranked site.

Scot Case

Senior Consultant

A sustainability strategy consultant since 1993, Scot has served as non-profit leader, as a partner in an environmental marketing firm that he grew and sold, and as an executive in a multi-billion-dollar, international company. He has published dozens of articles and case studies, was co-author of the original “Sins of Greenwashing” study, testified before Congress, and been quoted on NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, Business Week, and the Wall Street Journal. Scot was also highlighted in an Emmy award-winning documentary on sustainable purchasing.

Casey Ward

VP Account Services

Casey manages our relationships, growth and development with a specific group of clients that includes Environmental Defense Fund, Cotton LEADS and CertainTeed Insulation. She provides leadership and support for the account team members who manage the day-to-day processes for these clients. She contributes to strategic direction for each client and guides our creative efforts to ensure everything we do builds toward meeting – or exceeding – the client’s goals. Her ability to simultaneously see the big picture and pay close attention to the details helps her champion her clients’ needs and identify new growth opportunities for them.