To fight single-use plastics, hit its economy!

Apr 04, 2019, 8:14 AM EDT
(Source: Kevin Krejci/flickr)
(Source: Kevin Krejci/flickr)

Single-use plastics (SUPs) are humanity’s most hated assets. They are an environmental menace but even “more valuable” for their low price, lightweight and durability, the attributes that make them indispensable in several industries, especially food and beverages.

Ironically, amid all the hue and cry over the environmental impact of SUPs, their burgeoning economy shows no signs of fatigue, and this is what further fuels the perpetual supplies of these non-biodegradables into landfill sites and water bodies. To take on plastics, we must hit them where it hurts, their thriving economy, notes Scientific American.

Thales Teixeira, a professor at the Harvard Business School, cites an example from the food industry, explaining how marketers conveniently ignore a crucial post-purchase component of the customer value chain.

A restaurant, tending to its customers, unlocks a value, i.e. “cheap, fast and easy disposal of food” via SUPs. Both sides derive this advantage at a trivial price, as the law of economics favors SUPs. At this stage, a “three-pronged” approach can be tested to skew the economics against plastics.