rePurpose, Plastics & Zero-Waste Living

As a social enterprise, rePurpose hires individuals from around the world in high density locations of plastic accumulation to ethically collect plastic to prevent it from being otherwise disposed of which can create pollutants in the air, land, waterways, and oceans. Their mission is “dedicated to empowering innovators on the frontlines of reducing waste, reviving lives, and restoring nature's balance.”

In a 4-step process, rePurpose encourages you to be conscious of plastic use by first measuring what you currently use, reBalance or offset your current footprint, learn how to reduce your waste, and lastly pledge to make an impact to reduce pollution worldwide.

Some interesting facts about plastic and plastic consumption is that 74% of all plastics never end up in recycling and go back into the earth as waste, 8.8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans annually, and only 26% of plastic is profitable to recycle. rePurpose goes on to explain that Low-value plastic (LVP) is the most urgent concern as this type of plastic is generally not recycled and adds to plastic pollution. They “recover the low-value plastics that would otherwise end up in landfills or ocean ecosystems and empower waste workers.”

This interesting chart shows roughly the average plastic footprint per individual by location, age, and what areas of life plastic waste originates from. The home & living category followed by takeout & delivery produce the most plastic waste. Groceries, health & wellness, and fashion, sometimes rival takeout & delivery as larger sources of waste.

Plastic neutrality means that through your actions, you can help offset the plastic that you do use, by supporting initiatives that help remove these plastics from the environment. Here is a whole resource of ways to recycle, live as plastic-free as possible, and potentially lead a zero waste lifestyle.

Collectively, there are additional ways to provide a greater impact including for your organization by creating a plastic neutral workspace, receiving a global certification for your brand, or even adjusting your online eCommerce platform to address these initiatives. Aside from monetary support, programs include creating recycling projects with employees and really championing an eco lifestyle within the company culture. Looking beyond company manufacturing and consumption processes, sharing ways to live more sustainably and how to become conscious consumers can be done through newsletters and in-house initiatives to get the whole team and community involved.

Even further, consumers are becoming more aware of the products they are purchasing and taking note of brands that facilitate sustainability. rePurpose shares that “2 out of 3 consumers consider sustainability when making a purchase” and “91% of consumers would switch to a purpose-driven one when given the option. 66% of consumers would pay a higher price for environmentally and socially conscious products,” which can help companies offset costs when choosing eco production, packaging, and shipping for example.

Each of us can do our part by taking small steps to be conscious consumers and purchase from brands that prioritize sustainability, and try to limit plastic use when possible. Every small action adds up to collectively make a difference.