What has the Redesign (engl. to redesign) with Zero Waste to do? It's simple: If you make sure that suppliers redesign their products and get rid of unnecessary plastic packaging or other resource-wasting material, you'll have a wider choice of plastic-free alternatives in the future. Today, I'll show you how you, as an individual consumer, can make a difference. Let's go!
Why you should share your concerns with manufacturers
I can speak from my own experience, since I myself have make a few products and offer to CareElite project to be able to finance. Of course, I make sure that the products offered are ecological and as plastic-free as possible. But that's not the rule, because a common manufacturer or supplier works very profit-oriented and rarely or not at all considers environmental problems. As sad as it is, you should always point this out to the manufacturer if you see a product in unnecessary plastic packaging, for example. The more people do that, the faster he will redesign the product and adapt it to the customers' wishes.
How to ensure that a product is redesigned?
Never underestimate the power of your voice, because you are a potential customer. A provider is always interested in what the customer thinks. So give them the feedback they want. Here are some examples of how you can alert a manufacturer or supplier to product deficiencies or suggested changes.
On every company website you will usually also find a telephone number. A phone call is a great way to voice your concerns and suggestions for improvement. You wouldn't believe how many people now plastic free living want to and will do the same. The disadvantage of calling is that your message can go down faster than with the next variant.
If the phone number is missing or if you want to make an initial advance by message, you can also write an e-mail. This has the advantage that the message only has to be forwarded to the boss. This is because, as a rule, you do not directly reach the managing director of a company who is authorized to make decisions.
Contact on Facebook
There are many young people in the social media teams of companies who are certainly even more open to change than many a boss who is stuck in old habits. Here, too, the information must first be passed on to them. In my experience, however, the probability of this happening is very high.
Use Replace Plastic App
A company also feels the power of its customers when everyone sticks together. In the Replace Plastic App you can scan the barcode of a product and submit a suggestion for improvement to the manufacturer without much effort. The more people scan the product, the faster the manufacturer will respond. In the article Zero Waste Apps you can find more smartphone apps for less waste in everyday life.
Provoke a shitstorm
Admittedly, creating a kind of storm against a manufacturer in social media is the hard way to make them aware of a problem. But when manufacturers are intransigent or, in particularly blatant cases, produce plastic waste or other problems, a shitstorm is an effective means of forcing change. However, it should also be said that something like this is difficult to plan 😉.
Redesigning is like providing for the future
Do you know the term "operational blindness"? It means that as an entrepreneur you are so bogged down in your own processes that you no longer see where there is potential for optimization in the company. Other entrepreneurs don't care at all about change and certainly not about environmental aspects. After all, they usually don't bring in any money, but actually increase costs. For these reasons, it is simply incredibly important to contact a manufacturer with your suggestions for improvement.
What do you think about this and have you ever tipped off a vendor? Either way, I look forward to hearing your experiences or ideas down here in the comments.
PS.: Under Submit product proposals for plastic-free products you can suggest me a product that we should launch as a plastic-free alternative. Feel free to read more basic rules of the Zero Waste lifestyle, such as the Reuse of things. Here you can also check out my Download plastic free e-book "Get rid of the trash" for free.
Your contribution speaks to me from the soul. ...I've been fighting windmills for some time now and can't seem to get any further. What is it about? I have written to several organic dairies and asked why they can only offer lactose-free milk in tetra packs and not in glass bottles. The answers were either always the same: "...this is not feasible for technical production reasons....blablabla..." or there was simply no answer at all, which I find very arrogant and ignorant, to say the least. I had really already thought of a shitstorm, as you describe it so beautifully. I also thought about convincing people via blog not to buy said milk anymore, and to show alternatives...
So it would be really nice if I could finally find allies who think like me, so that you don't always feel like "David against Goliath".
In this sense
P.S. I got a package of "The Best" from Ferrero as a Christmas present; the amount of plastic that came to light surpassed everything I had ever known about packaging waste - pure madness! It's time to take urgent action here, too - what do you think?
Hi Jeanne! Thank you for your lovely comment and your tireless efforts.
It will pay off eventually. Companies will also gradually understand that it pays to switch to plastic-free. That's because there's still a lot of free advertising in the media at the moment, because it's still something special.
Ferrero... yes, I can imagine that very well. Start a petition at change.org or other platforms. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to create petitions for individual products. When you're ready, I'll be happy to share!
Also use the Replace Plastic App, that goes directly out to the manufacturers 🙂
Always remember that you are not alone. Many people turn to the manufacturers.
I have written to "my" dairy and asked them to also offer quark and cream cheese in jars and butter in paper. Also pulses from organic suppliers and muesli from organic suppliers. I received many replies and often the comment that there are no alternatives on the part of the packaging industry. I'm not letting up. I hope others will get in touch too.
Hi Kerstin! Super, you have even suggested the alternatives 😉 Exactly, stay tuned!