How To Make Money By Reducing Plastic Waste

How To Make Money By Reducing Plastic Waste


Plastic bag. Plastic water bottle. Plastic box of spinach. So I collected plastic
for the past 36 hours. Beer pong in the plastic bag. Vitamin container. I ate out once. I wear contacts, but that means
11, 12, 13, 14, 15 years, 15 pieces here. I’m not proud of it. So that’s why today we’re going to
talk about ways that you can make money while reducing plastic waste. Hey, I’m Neha. I’m an officially certified
accountant and your unofficial money master, and this is New Money
where each week I take a look at interesting ways people are making
money and how you can make some of this new money. Oh my gosh. Okay, well you’re wrong. Bio-do-da-bo-gradable. Each year 8 million tons of plastic
waste ends up in the ocean, and there’s a bunch of people out there
who are trying to prevent that from happening and also making
money while doing it. Which begs the question, is it
possible to make money while making the world a better place? The answer is yes, yes,
yes, it’s possible. Okay, so what are people selling? We have here bees wax paper. Essentially. There is bamboo cutlery. It’s actually very
aesthetically pleasing as well. There is this environmentally
friendly toothpaste. Which is actually refillable, so
you can just bring it back and get more. Ooh, there is a rubber Q-tip. Oh, this a foldable reusable straw. OK this is like a transformer. But then there’s other things. There’s refillable shampoo bottles,
bio-degradable litter, metal raisers, toys, meats out of
plastic that’s found on a beach. There’s so many great things that
help you get rid of plastic waste. So let’s talk about
this straw for a second. It was made by this
woman named Emma Cohen. But first pop quiz. Okay. Andy, which of the following places
has banned or is in the process of banning plastic straws? So we have Vancouver, Seattle,
New York, and Washington, D.C. Seattle and Vancouver. Okay, well, you’re wrong. It’s all of the above. All of those places are in the
process of banning or have already banned the use of plastic
straws, which is amazing. So Emma’s company, which is
appropriately called Final Straw, shared their idea on Kickstarter
and got $1.8 million dollars and 38,000 backers. Amazing, right? She took this great idea and
then turned it into a lucrative business. Now my question is, how do you take
such a cause focus business and make money with it while
still keeping it fun? So I asked Emma. Roll the tape. I love memes. When we first started working on
this project, I would stay up so late making silly memes, and
it’s just such a great way to communicate that, that people
really resonate with, instead of wagging your finger and
saying, “no, don’t do that. That’s bad.” We just put out memes that make
people laugh and people connect with and then will result
in behavior change. Memes. Of course, of course memes, right? It’s just such a nice way for her
to keep things light while also reminding people that, you know,
saving the planet is kind of important and you know, do it. Who doesn’t want to be paid and
help save the planet at the same time. I want that job. And the world obviously has a
plastic waste problem, right? So big plastic waste problem equals
big money making opportunity for all of you guys. You just think about it. The global recycling industry
is a $200 billion industry. That’s huge. By 2050 it’s projected that there’s
going to be more plastic waste in the ocean than fish. And protecting fish is exactly
what inspired Dick Moby, which is a company that creates sunglasses
from recycled and oil free materials. Before we learn more about them
though, I’m going to make you watch this video off their website
and you can thank me later. There’s too much junk. There’s too much waste. We need good ideas
and a little taste. We can make great things
in plastic or metal. But now their recycled
and biodegradable. I think you meant
Bio-do-be-do-be-gradable. Yeah So first of all, you’re welcome. And second of all, I actually
have the sunglasses here. They are the Seattle
model in yellow Havana. These are so cool. Okay. Hold on a second. Saving the planet one pair
of sunglasses at a time. So the case is made
from recycled leather. Um, and this is made from a
recycled PET bottle, which is basically any plastic bottle. And these bad boys. Are made from biodegradable, or
sorry Bio-do-be-do-be-gradable, whatever the song
thing was, acetate. So Dick Moby isn’t the only company
that is re-purposing, recycled and wasteful plastic materials. Actually, more and more we’re
finding sustainable products, like these ones are selling much more
frequently than their more wasteful cousins. So all this talk
about plastic waste. How did we even get
here in the first place? How did plastic become
such a huge industry? Well. Let me tell you a story. Lights! Well, the year was 1863 and a guy
named John Wesley Hyatt read an ad in an old timey newspaper. It was placed by a New York
firm that wanted to create an alternative to ivory, and they
were offering a $10,000 reward. That was a lot of money back then. And enough to motivate
John to invent plastic. And as winter during the
spring, summer to fall. Eventually it was the 1960s. It’s funny how time travel works. The economy was booming and this
incredible new substance, plastic., was hailed as a miracle material. It’s strong, lightweight, easily
shaped, and most importantly, very cheap. But the same properties that made
it attractive caused it to be destructive to the
environment that is. But despite that the plastic
industry got bigger and bigger. Which brings us to today where
we have 8 million tons of plastic being dumped into the
ocean every single year. And according to my calculations,
that’s the equivalent in weight of 80,000 blue whales. But there is a silver lining. It means there’s a huge opportunity
for eco-friendly businesses to now provide alternative. So on that note, let’s talk
about a plastic free future. So we’re at a point in time where
companies can’t really afford not to be sustainable. I mean, just ask the 68 million
Americans who base their purchasing decisions on personal, social,
and environmental values. Yeah. 68 million people. That’s a lot of people looking
for change and alternatives. And these are the same people who
are willing to spend 20% more on products and environmentally
conscious companies can apply for tax credits and grants, which
can help lower the costs. Because one of the reasons that
people use plastics is because it’s so cheap. But money. How are people making
money off plastic waste? Which leads us
perfectly into tip time. Tip number one. So everyone remembers
the three RS, right? So how does that
apply to a business? Reduce, so sell products like
reusable cups, cutlery, and tote bags. Things that help reduce our
dependence on single use plastic. Reuse. You guessed it. Distribute your product
in reusable containers. So think a milk jar
versus a milk carton. Recycle. So make your product out of
reprocessed material, or at the very least, make it recyclable. Tip number two. Do your research. There are all sorts of resources
online for a network of services that’ll help make your
business truly sustainable. Check out some of the links in
our description below for more information. Tip number three. Communicate. So people aren’t going to know that
your business is environmentally friendly or sustainable if you
don’t let them know, so be very open with their customers. And even invite them to events,
including green initiatives you might be doing. Okay. Everyone, it’s time for my favorite
part of our episode, the unboxing. So our producer, Alex, has sourced
a super cool product for me to look at today. Uh, it’s created by someone who
is having a lot of success in the industry we’ve been talking about,
and apparently it’s gonna brighten my days. So Alex. Yeah. I’m so excited. Let’s unbox this. Ooh, it is a
lampshade, a lampshade. It’s made from shredded plastic. Oh, wow. So cool. It actually is so pretty. You look in that blue box
on the bottom of the shelf. Laundry detergent? So that’s shredded laundry
detergent containers that’s made into this lamp. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. So this is, this is this. Wow. Basically what you’re trying to
say is there’s not just money in reducing plastic waste. There’s actually money in taking
things that have been used and then reusing them and repurposing
them into something else. And it’s actually a huge market. The world only recycled 9% of the
plastics they use, and of that, only 2% is currently being
repurposed into secondary products. Oh my gosh. Thank you, Alex. Okay, so what do you
all think about this? Do you see some opportunity here? After all, it’s been determined
that the plastic waste that ends up in our oceans costs the world
$2.5 trillion in damaged and lost resources. Yep. I said trillion. To be honest, I knew we had a
plastic waste problem, but I never really saw it as a business
opportunity until I started doing research for this episode. It’s kind of a cool challenge to
see how we could reduce our plastic waste. But in a more
entrepreneurial type of way. Make it rain and get
rid of the plastic. That’s all. Thank you so much for tuning
into this episode of New Money. Check back next week where we’ll
have a brand new episode for you, and in the meantime you can comment
like subscribe and hit that bell icon for notifications.

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