Having recently announced its plans to remove nearly 800 tons of single-use plastic from its bunch O Balloons brand, as part of the its ten-year sustainability initiative, Zuru’s VP of Global Marketing, Renee Lee, speaks about the company’s wider commitment to environmental social responsibility. Renee also offers some advice to companies wanting to take some initial steps to become more environmentally friendly.
Being environmentally friendly is integral to the Zuru business. Has coronavirus had any bearing on the availability of sustainable resources, ease of recycling, et cetera?
There has been no more additional pressure on environmentally friendly materials vs regular materials.
In April, Zuru committed to removing 800 tons of single-use plastic from Bunch O Balloons. This recycling initiative follows last year’s summer launch of TerraCycle. Can you tell us a little more about your commitment to sustainability?
We feel that as a toy company it is important to commit to sustainability and take necessary steps to make a change for the better and protect the future for our kids. In addition to making these changes we’re ensuring that we stay at the forefront of consumer trends – who are increasingly interested in buying more sustainable goods. Finally, it is a measure that will future proof our brands from regulations that may come into place that restrict or tax certain materials.
What is Zuru’s end-goal?
We have a 10-year sustainability plan that is centred on the three Rs of:
- Rethink – how we design and manufacture high quality, more sustainable goods
- Reduce – our use of unsustainable business practices and materials
- Recycle – Drive the use of recycled materials as well as play our partner in educating and aiding consumers in how to recycle responsibility
We plan to make incremental steps to build towards our longer-term plans.
For companies who are wanting to be more environmentally friendly, what advice would you offer to get the ball rolling?
Do your research – not all fads are actually better for the environment. For example, sugarcane plastic actually in some cases is worse than virgin plastic.
Also, companies don’t need to change everything at once. Incremental steps sometimes are better than revolutionary steps as you can execute better, learn and then start to reapply elsewhere.
Is there anything that national governing bodies could do to support companies who are trying to be more environmentally friendly?
Overall, if national governing bodies could even the playing field – whether that be through regulations or incentives – we should see a faster, more sustainable shift.