By now we’re sure you’ve probably heard that Starbucks has decided to go green. Starbucks is saying goodbye to single-use plastic straws. By 2020, the company will eliminate the use of plastic straws in stores around the world. Instead, strawless lids will be rolled out. For drinks that need a straw, ones made from alternative materials, including paper or compostable plastic, will be offered, when asked for. And for those worried about frappuccinos and their toppings, which can’t be contained by a flat top lid, bubble lids will still be used.
Another company to jump on the green bandwagon is Nestlé. In 2012, they replaced their plastic water bottles with a slimmer version which used about half the plastic of its predecessors. This is a great start, with green practices becoming the norm.
But what happens when these green practices go wrong? Case in point: Sun Chips, who promised that their bags were biodegradable. The new bags were actually very loud and annoyed many customers. Sun Chips was quick to recognize the issue, and by 2011, they unveiled a new and improved biodegradable bag. However, the new bags came under fire again for not actually decomposing as fast as they said they would.
What’s the lesson in all of this: environmentally friendly business practices are here to stay. If you want to join in, look at how you can recycle more and reduce waste. If you produce a physical product, look at ways of reducing packaging when shipping – do you really need a huge box for such a tiny delivery? What about how your product is actually packaged – can you replace foam with cardboard? Can you use slimmer packaging?
When done right, becoming more environmentally friendly can have a very positive impact on a business, and raise customer opinion of a brand.