Brands and waste management

How Brands are taking up the challenge to reduce waste?

Recently I came across an article where Colgate launched a recyclable toothpaste made of HDPE material. It took them around 5 years to R&D the new version of the tube. So the question is what is the requirement of doing this, they are one of the leading and established brands in the world. And the answer is Waste and their impact on world Environment. Let’s look at a few cases where brands have taken up the challenge to reduce waste through different methodologies.

Reason for Growing Waste

In the last century, energy and material consumption increased extensively due to population growth, economic development and urbanization; and is responsible for the generation of huge quantities of solid waste causing environmental hazards.
At the beginning of 21 st century, the importance of sustainable development has been realized globally and attempts are made to review the resource consumption patterns.
To reduce the debit side of material consumption, solid waste management system should be developed in keeping with 3R Technologies (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) by a variety of techniques for resource recovery, waste minimization and proper disposal of solid waste.

3R technology reduce,reuse,recycle
3R Technologies (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle)

How it can be controlled?

As consumers, we are very wasteful. Annually, the world generates 12 billion tonnes of solid waste. This is expected to go up to 19 billion by 2025. So the world is rethinking on the conventional methods of using the products. Organisations and Brands are researching ways to minimise their consumer waste. Every other brand has shown their commitment to a sustainable footprint. Both consumers and brands are becoming more aware of the need of protecting the environment.

Recent studies show that consumers are now more worried about sustainable lifestyles. They want to be energy efficient and reduce waste. It is the consumers who really decide what happens to a product. But companies have resorted not to place the entire burden on the shoulders of consumers. They want active participation in this.

How Brands are taking part in reducing waste?

Here we will look at how some of the brands have introduced different strategies to reduce and recycle wastes.


Most toothpaste tubes are made from plastic and aluminium, making it impossible to reduce your environmental footprint. But soon, Colgate hopes, you can throw your toothpaste tube in the recycling bin. Colgate said it thought it could use a commonly recycled type of plastic called a “high-density polyethene” (HDPE) for the new tube. Colgate-Palmolive, which owns the Colgate brand, is pledging to use 100% recyclable packaging on all its products by 2025.

Procter & Gamble

P&G is making more sustainable products by testing its refillable packages for Olay moisturizer. This move could substantially reduce plastic waste from single-use products.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) India produces 25% of its shampoo and conditioner bottles with ocean plastic, which they’ve collected and recycled from littered coasts.


According to their World Without Waste goals, they have committed to collecting a bottle or can for each one sold by 2030, with the aim to ensure that every plastic bottle contains at least 50% recycled plastic by 2030.


Company’s goal is to make 100% of our packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.


Starbucks is joining in on the fun by eliminating all plastic straws by this year and is testing out a new paper cup that uses less plastic.

waste management by brands
Converting trash to useful products

Some companies are offering services to help expand the longevity of their products, they’re promising quality and durability to consumers. Few examples of such efforts are:

Nudie Jeans

Swedish denim company Nudie Jeans offers free denim repair at twenty of their shops. Instead of discarding their old worn-out denim, customers bring them in to be renewed.

Everlane and Reformation

Sustainable fashion brands like Everlane and Reformation create its pieces from sustainable fabrics like Tencel and linen, with 15% made from ‘deadstock’ fabrics (old, leftover, and over-ordered fabric from other designers and fabric warehouses) and 2-5% from vintage clothing.


Patagonia, a high-end outdoor clothier, follows the same credo. It has partnered with DIY website iFixit to teach consumers how to repair their clothing and the company also offers a repair program for their customers for a modest fee.


Adidas has been running a shoe-recycling program called “Sustainable Footprint” since 2012. Customers can bring shoes of any brand into a store that Adidas then shreds so that they become alternative fuels and raw materials. They’re used to fuel cement kilns.


  • Power tool maker DeWalt partners with companies, such as Lowes and Napa Auto Parts, to collect old tools at their stores for recycling. The partnership benefits both sides.two companies from two different industries) to work together on a specific aspect of the value chain.
  • DeWalt launched a trade-in program to encourage people to bring back tools. As a result, DeWalt gets to reuse those materials to create new products at a lower cost.


Walkers accepts crisp packets from any brand, which can be dropped off at a collection point. Alternatively, if you’ve started a workplace collection, for example, you can have them picked up by courier once you’ve collected 400 packets or more. After cleaning, the packets are shredded and used to make other plastic products such as outdoor furniture, trays and flooring.


Pop up to ten pairs of trainers Nike or Non-Nike into a Nike Reuse-A-Shoe collection point at Nike store and the rubber, foam, leather and textile components will be separated and turned into granules, ready to serve as new clothing, footwear or even sports and playground surfaces.

H & M

Drop off clothes you no longer want from any brand in any condition at H&M stores – just ask for the garment-collection box. They’ll either be sold as second-hand clothes, made into things such as cleaning cloths, or turned into textile fibre to be used for insulation. Meanwhile, you’ll receive an H&M voucher.


At Levi’s Drop off unwanted clean, dry garments or shoes at branches of the denim retailer and receive a 10% discount voucher to use on full-priced clothing in-store.


The Body Shop offers a similar scheme with its Return, Recycle, Repeat programme. Return five of its empty bottles, tubs, tubes or pots and receive a £5 reward.


Return your old Apple device and, if it’s still serviceable and can be refurbished, you could receive an Apple Store Gift Card to put towards a newer model. If your gadget’s time is up, Apple will recycle it.


Earn Tesco Clubcard points by returning empty inkjet printer cartridges to the recycling factory. or use the scheme to donate to Tesco Charity Partners.


Intel has recycled more than 75% of the total waste generated by its operations, and in an effort to reduce waste in 2013, the company linked a portion of employees’ compensation to solid waste recycling metrics.


Amazon announced to eliminate single-use plastic from its supply chain by June 2020, the first step was the introduction of paper cushion, an environment-friendly and fully-recyclable packaging solution, which has replaced plastic dunnage across all its fulfilment centres in India. The brand has also launched packaging-free shipments to reduce waste generated from secondary packaging of customer orders. The plastic currently used in its packaging mailers and bubble bags is made of 20% recycled content as well. Amazon’s box-sizing algorithm calculates the right size of the box for an order, minimizing the packaging waste generated.


L’Oréal Paris’ uses thin plastic shells protected by an outer layer of recycled paper, besides planning to make 100% of its packaging refillable or compostable by 2025.


Dabur has also been recycling PET bottles collected under its plastic waste collection drive to make T-shirts that are distributed amongst community members and school children. Between 2018-19 and 2019-20, Dabur has collectively reduced plastic usage in secondary and tertiary packaging by 250 metric tonnes.

Surely future brand management strategies will be based around sustainable development. Brands or Companies will work in close conjunction with customers to Co-create new levels of brand reputation.

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