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What is plastic neutrality and why D2C brands are going sustainable

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Over 65 percent of millennial buyers prefer eco-friendly, plastic-neutral, sustainable, or organic products. Going plastic neutral means measuring your plastic footprint, and the same amount of plastic waste is recycled through waste management measures. Some notable brands that have taken this lead in India are mCaffeine, TagZ Foods, Tea Trunk, Conscious Chemist.

What is plastic neutrality and why D2C brands are going sustainable
Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) seems to be the new buzzword in the Indian startup industry as fundings rain and valuations soar. However, being a 21st-century D2C brand does not come so easy. It requires a brilliant product, and even more brilliant branding and loads of cash to endlessly run digital ads. Moreover, a ton of effort and responsibility goes into inculcating a variable human-centred approach in every aspect of a process and conforming to the calls for sustainability. Nonetheless, if you care enough for your brand and literally 'eat-sleep-talk' your startup, you won't have difficulty dealing with these approaches. 
The most interesting aspect for new-age D2C brands is to be sustainable and eco-friendly, which seem to be the most used terminologies in investor pitches these days. A more unique and innovative concept is plastic neutrality. 


Plastic use is now embedded into the functioning of society, endangering sustenance for every species alike. More so for the mushrooming D2C brands as most of the packaging that they use is made of plastic. A load of cartons, tapes and bubble wraps used by e-commerce companies doesn't add to the glory either. Also, plastic is non-biodegradable, meaning all plastic ever produced is still present in the environment in some form. Here comes the innovative concept of 'plastic neutrality.' 
Going plastic neutral means measuring your plastic footprint, and the same amount of plastic waste is recycled through waste management measures. Though plastic neutrality is different from 'plastic-free', it holds an underlying idea to not add up to the plastic waste in existence in the environment. 
However, a sudden transition can be overwhelming, given the prevalence of plastics, though it is not impossible with the right steps. Numerous well-funded and recognised D2C brands have taken up the onus to create a plastic-neutral world by offsetting plastic usage. 


Plastic neutrality deals in the trading of plastic credits, much like carbon credits, and offsets the plastic used by one company. The plastic is recycled from the environment for real. Very few companies in the world currently provide this plastic neutrality service, including US-based Repurpose Global being a pioneer and The Disposal Company leading the way closer home in India. 
The ethos behind this new concept of becoming 'plastic neutral' among D2C brands is also driven by customers' desire to buy from sustainable and environment-friendly brands. Over 65 percent of millennial buyers prefer eco-friendly, plastic-neutral, sustainable, or organic products.
This shift in the consumer mindset and behaviour has led to the D2C brands finding solutions to become environmentally conscious. Be it ingredients, packaging, or going plastic neutral. Some notable brands that have taken this lead in India are mCaffeine, TagZ Foods, Tea Trunk, Conscious Chemist. These brands have offset the plastic they use every month, ensuring it is recycled. 
– Pawas Jain is Senior Product Manager at CNBC-TV18. Views expressed are personal.

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