California-based Boox — which CEO Matt Semmelhack says is on track to ship 1.3 million Boox boxes in 2022, up from around 100,000 in inaugural year 2021 — has launched a new service “almost directly aimed at SB54,” says Semmelhack. It urges brands to return both the Boox shipper and the inner packaging material for reuse. “Over time, this will drive e-commerce brands to move to reusable items, not only for the outer shipper like Boox, but also for all inner packaging materials, garment bags, etc.”
Reorienting a company towards reuse is also more likely to avoid unintended consequences, such as “manufacturers find other raw materials — like cutting down trees — to meet guidelines to the letter of the law,” he says. “We’re going to have to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, not just give an ‘out’ by making things more recyclable or more compostable.”
Recharge and reuse systems can also pay dividends for the company, he adds. “Brands are able to make the returns process an additional offline post-purchase touchpoint that leads to sales, retention, loyalty, and more – all those essential things that direct-to-consumer brands are looking for. .”
Brands already focused on reducing plastics welcome the bill. Everlane says it has eliminated 90% of virgin and single-use plastic from its supply chain, switching, among other changes, to recycled plastic polybags and recycled fibers in its clothing, and Katina Boutis, director of sustainability of the brand says they are working on the rest. “We hope that Senate Bill 54 will support us in developing solutions for the remaining 10% of our goal, namely trims and spandex, by spurring much-needed innovation in recyclability,” says- she. “Much of the remaining virgin plastic in these areas requires material innovations that are not currently widely available.”
Some companies have already found alternatives or ways to avoid certain common waste-generating products. Hailey Bieber’s beauty brand Rhode, which launched in June, isn’t offering samples, according to CMO Claudia Allwood, who says they’re waiting until there’s a “responsible” better way. “to offer them.
Credo ditched all single-use plastics in 2020, including sample packs as well as other items, including sheet masks. “This object could last for hundreds of years, even if we only use it for a few seconds,” says Davis. They now have a travel jar made from recycled, plastic-free materials that they invite customers to fill when looking to try a new product. But, says Davis, the quest for a sustainable way to sample products isn’t limited to the material itself.