Reducing plastic waste in the retail industry: The key to changing consumer behavior

Although many businesses are making efforts to reduce plastic waste in production and business, reality shows that there are still many difficulties.

1. Many positive changes

Along with the rapid development of other economic sectors, the retail and service industry is also indirectly creating an additional burden on the environment as it is one of the industries that uses large quantities of plastic packaging, nylon bags and straws. plastic.

Guests attending the Talkshow: Plastic reduction initiative in the Retail and Service industry organized by Baodautu

However, in recent years, consumers are not only strict with service quality but also care about the environmental friendliness of products.

Understanding this psychology, many businesses have launched a series of “zero waste” campaigns, replacing plastic cups and plastic straws with easily degradable materials such as paper, stainless steel, bamboo, etc.

The “zero waste” movement has made many customers feel satisfied and love brands more. However, there are still many difficulties and shortcomings in the implementation process.

At Talkshow: Initiative to reduce plastic in the Retail and Service industry organized by Investment Newspaper on the afternoon of June 22, Ms. Patricia Marques, General Director of Starbucks Vietnam, said that the use of disposable plastic products for packaging Packages in the hotel and restaurant industry are still popular in Vietnam.

Some countries have changed their laws and imposed high fines on those who use single-use plastics, but the majority of countries around the world continue to consume large amounts of plastic products. disposable. The reason this situation persists is because plastic waste is cheap, easy to buy, convenient and available everywhere.

Overviewing the panorama of the habit of using plastic products in Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Tho, Director of the Institute of Policy Strategy, Natural Resources and Environment, said that according to a recent survey we conducted, every Every day, about 104,000 nylon bags are discharged into the environment, equivalent to 38 million products a year.

This is a very large number that requires the cooperation of many parties. We have been working with international partners, as well as businesses, to reduce the use of plastic products.

As for businesses, despite many efforts, the goal of reducing plastic waste has not yet met expectations. According to Ms. Nguyen Bang Lang, Head of Sustainable Development Department, AEON Vietnam, since 30 years ago at AEON supermarkets in Japan, the business has implemented campaigns to reduce packaging and disposable nylon bags. In Vietnam, AEON has been implementing for 2 years and has brought remarkable results.

Currently, 95% of packaging bags at AEON Vietnam’s supermarket system are biodegradable bags, and we expect to reach 100% by the end of 2022.

In addition, more than 60% of trays containing prepared food and drinks are made from environmentally friendly materials such as paper and sugarcane bagasse. AEON Vietnam has been making efforts to reduce the use of single-use packaging and nylon bags.

As for Starbucks Vietnam, Ms. Patricia Marques, General Director, said that the biggest challenge that Starbucks Vietnam faces is to guide consumers and change their behavior towards a cleaner, plastic-free planet. disposable in oceans and rivers and prevent landfill contamination.

Specifically, Starbucks Vietnam started switching to using straws made from natural materials about 4 years ago. Customers complain that paper straws easily fray. Starbucks Vietnam continued to improve, then, we changed the plastic handle from PP to PET.

With this change, the advantage is that customers can drink easily without a straw, Starbucks Vietnam has called it a strawless lid. However, this initiative is still not very satisfactory.

“Customers still do not accept it and continue to request straws. No matter what our partners explain and share, they still say they need plastic straws,” said Ms. Patricia Marques.

2. Changing user awareness

To deploy campaigns to limit single-use plastic bags and packaging in a coordinated manner, according to Ms. Nguyen Bang Lang, AEON Vietnam has identified 3 main tasks.

The first task to mention is to help create the habit of refusing plastic bags among customers and employees. Accordingly, we launched an initiative to lend environmentally friendly bags.

Normally, this type of bag costs 20,000 VND/piece, but customers coming to AEON Vietnam will be able to borrow the bag at a preferential price of 5,000 VND/piece and will return it the next time they go to the supermarket.

If customers forget, they will be charged until they remember to take it every time they go to the supermarket. In addition, customers who do not use plastic bags will also be given priority to pay in advance.

AEON Vietnam also organized the design of environmental bags with Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture, and also organized training activities and internal movements to help employees create habits.

The next task is to improve operations to minimize disposable nylon bags by optimizing the packaging process, replacing environmentally friendly containers and expanding the project’s formulas into different business models.

As for Mr. Nguyen Dinh Tho’s opinion, according to the Law on Environmental Protection passed by the National Assembly in 2020, the Institute has introduced many measures to reduce the use of plastic products, of which one of the effective ways is to reduce the use of plastic products. The most effective is to encourage the development of circular economy, as well as the reuse and recycling of waste plastic products.

In addition, in order to develop a circular economy in Vietnam, it is necessary to implement the criteria. The first is to reduce the use of plastic products and materials, especially fossil materials.

Second, prolong the life of products and goods on the market. Third, minimize throwing waste into the environment, control the amount of waste, strengthen waste screening at source, as well as transport and treat waste; does not harm the environment.

To achieve the above goal, designing a scientific and sustainable plan plays a very important role in determining success, this has been proven through experience in Europe.

Ms. Patricia Marques proposed that all businesses must be supported by the government in the process of converting from using plastic to environmentally friendly materials.

The opinion of Mr. Jinwoo Song, General Director of BAEMIN Vietnam, is that in order to reduce plastic waste, the business has paid attention to internal education when conducting a series of training sessions for employees along with officials. government organizations to raise employee awareness and promote greener lifestyles.

“BAEMIN Vietnam has also worked very closely with international partners and specialized agencies to measure Carbon emissions caused by business activities and find compensation solutions with environmental protection organizations. international”, Mr. Jinwoo Song said.

According to research results of Nielsen Vietnam Company, about 80% of Vietnamese consumers are willing to pay more to buy products with environmentally friendly ingredients and “green” brands. and “clean”. This also helps brands with “green” and “clean” commitments have a growth rate of about 4%.

According to: Dien dan Dau tu – Kinh doanh

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