Educate your consumers about the costs of disposable products that aren’t reparable, recyclable, or compostable and end up in the landfill.
Create thoughtful ways for customers to come to a final purchase decision that limits unnecessary returns.
Consider a repair program that minimizes repurchasing.
If samples are an important driver of your business, design a sampling process that allows for temporary rental/returns, or design samples and packaging to be recyclable rather than disposable (easy to separate components for proper recycling).
Source from manufacturers, makers, and artisans that prioritize low-waste practices and sustainable materials.
Redistribute imperfect product for another use (internal or external to your company).
Redistribute/resell excess inventory.
Package your goods in recyclable, compostable, or reusable materials.
Reuse or recycle the packaging elements you receive from your suppliers (i.e. plastic bags, boxes, ties).
Set up a three-bin system (compost, recycling, landfill). Establish a point person to ensure items get sorted properly.
Post guidelines from your local waste management company to eliminate contamination (yes, a sheet of paper is okay to prevent contaminated recycling).