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Easy ways to reduce single use plastic in retail

Why Velo™ has been called a ‘game-changer’ for plastic reduction in retail


Tackling the issue of single use plastic in any organisation can seem overwhelming at first. From achieving consensus and buy-in, to establishing a good starting point can be difficult to navigate. But getting started is better than no start at all and identifying an easy win could make all the difference when driving a successful sustainability programme. So what could your first plastic target look like and more importantly – why do you need to start at all?

Why it’s important to reduce single use plastics in retail

The stark reality is that we’re at a tipping point of irreversible climate change and if left unchecked, the potential outcomes could devastate ecosystems and communities. Alternatively if we work together to reduce carbon emissions, rising temperatures will begin to level off in time, so it is in our hands to reverse the damage. Scientists agree that the time for change is now.

In every sector, there will be opportunities to choose more sustainable materials and products that can all play a part in reducing emissions and plastic pollution, using less of our natural resources.

And when it comes to retail, there are numerous possibilities when it comes to implementing more sustainable retail practises with single use alternatives.

Getting started with greener retail strategies

When it comes to thinking about plastic reduction in retail, there are some obvious places to start. Being able to facilitate and drive the phasing out the use of many single use plastics for your brand would be a huge win. Whatever the products and items produced , it’s worth digging deeper to understand more about what contributes to its carbon footprint.

Many of the processes and materials used may feel beyond your control to change and leave you considering how it’s possible to make a positive difference. But your customers are challenging these same processes, the materials and resources being used and want to know more about your environmental impact.

Could your brand set the benchmark and be one of the first to calculate the carbon footprint of every item of clothing and display it on the price tag, for example?

What an advantage it would be for Charity Retail selling those pre-loved items!

And talking about price tags – that’s a great place to get started with recycled alternatives.

Smarter ways to reduce plastic in retail with Velo™

There are a number of greener solutions that sit under the Velo™ family of products that help retailers decarbonise shopping baskets for their customers. Velo™ offers a complete range of single-use alternatives, supporting more sustainable retail practices.

Plastic tagging attachments reimagined

A simple way to tackle plastic on the clothes rails are the tagging attachments. These small pieces of plastic are used in their thousands in retail throughout the UK, are made from virgin plastic and are non-recyclable. Just like plastic straws which have been banned, plastic tagging attachments made from virgin plastic contribute to the plastic pollution problem.

Velo™ tagging attachments however are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and are also 100% recyclable. It’s a real plastic pollution solution and widely used across Charity Retail. This was a first to market product for Acopia.

Find out more about Velo™ Tagging Attachments here

Sustainable clothes hangers

While we’re looking at plastic reducing solutions on the clothes rail, another obvious product swap is the hanger. Wooden hangers give the appearance of sustainability but are they FSC accredited?  If not, the wood is likely to have been harvested from non-replenished sources. Hangers made from virgin plastic do nothing to support sustainability.

Velo™ Recycled Hangers are an entirely different solution, made from recycled plastic – the hanger is designed to reduce waste and encourage more of a circular economy approach to re-using materials and conserving natural resources. Velo hangers are made from compressed polystyrene and available in different colour finishes.

Find out more about Velo™ Hangers here

“Game changing” stock holding and movement solutions for retail

Bringing order to the backroom with effective stock storage can be a challenge. Undoubtedly there’s probably a lot of single use plastic involved with product identification and location hampered by the materials used for storage.  If you also need to send stock from one shop to another, more plastic is potentially required. So what’s the answer?

The Velo™ Reusable Transfer and Storage Sack is a robust alternative to the millions of single use plastic sacks used throughout retail for this purpose. Made from durable recycled plastic, this Bag For Life has been called a “game-changer” for retailers who are serious about eliminating single use plastic in their storage solutions. It is estimated that charities in the UK use around 30-50,000 plastic waste sacks a year so this will replace this massive use of single use plastic.

Find out more about Velo™ Reusable Transfer & Storage Sack here

Next steps to greener retail

These are just three examples of how using different materials and products can make a huge difference to a brand’s carbon footprint and its contribution to plastic reduction. Simple product swaps that are easy to implement and demonstrate a real commitment to positive change and reducing environmental impact.

Being able to position yourself as a more sustainable brand in retail brings real competitive advantage. And whether your vision is to know and reduce the carbon footprint of every product you sell working towards zero waste retail, or if it’s just about starting to consider reducing impact – remember, getting started is better than no start at all.

Click here for more information on the Velo™  suite of products and for free samples

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