Are Brands Too Late to the Recycling Party?


Brands are jumping on the trend of adopting recyclable plastic, but are they too late? On this week’s episode of the MarketScale Retail Podcast, we spoke to Michigan State University professor Ramani Narayan about the impact that plastic waste has had on the environment up to this point and the effect that this change will have.

We also pose the question: How do the Grammys affect music sales? Music industry expert Todd McCarty joins the show to help us answer that question.

L’Occitane Commits to 100% Recycled Plastic

There’s a floating mass of debris out in the Pacific Ocean that’s twice the size of Texas. It’s nicknamed trash island and 90 percent of it is made of plastic. On this episode of the retail podcast, we talk to Michigan State University professor Ramani Narayan about the problem plastic is posing to the environment and when French beauty company has committed to doing their part to reduce non-compostable materials and promises to use 100 percent recycled plastic by the year 2025.

L’OCCITANE is the latest global brand to partner with Geneva-based Loop Industries as the main supplier of 100% recycled sustainable PET plastic. Indeed, some of the biggest consumer packaged goods companies in the world have joined in their own commitments to sustainable plastic. In January, dozens of major brands including Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and The Body Shop partnered with Loop to introduce a reusable and refillable packaging made from glass, stainless steel or durable plastic.

“Today PET is the most recycled material polymer material in the world, but that doesn’t say much because only 30 to 40 percent is recovered or recycled back,” says Ramani Narayan, University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science.

Do the Grammys Move the Needle for Album Sales?

Estimates suggest that 19.9 million Americans watched the Grammy Awards this year. The question for the music and retail industry is whether they’re able to convert those views into album sales.

Joining the podcast today is Todd McCarty, owner and author at Heat on the Street, a “resource, community, and blog for new and working musicians”. Todd joins to help us understand the impact of the Grammys on album sales and exposure for musicians.

“[The Grammys] tend to push up the distribution and pushes these records out to outlets that they typically wouldn’t have reached,” says McCarty. He goes on to say that some artists like Post Malone or Kendrick Lamar have maxed out the number of locations where their albums are available. But for rising artists, the exposure of the Grammys can be extremely valuable.

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