business news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that at the Davos World Economic Forum this week, Walmart Canada announced that it will be reducing plastic bag use by 2025 in a way “that will take about 1 billion bags out of circulation, and replacing single-use plastic straws with paper alternatives by 2020.” At the same time, fast feeder KFC announced that all its “plastic-based, consumer-facing packaging will be recoverable or reusable by 2025.”

The story notes that plastic and waste reduction is a hot topic at Davos, in part because the subject “has become a flashpoint with environmentalists and consumers, and companies are reluctant to be seen as falling behind. Oreo maker Mondelez International Inc. and Nestle SA are among food giants that announced similar sustainability goals last year. KFC parent Yum! Brands Inc. previously said it will source all fiber-based packaging from certified or recycled sources by 2020, as a supporting partner of the NextGen Consortium. Starbucks Corp., McDonald’s Corp. and Coca-Cola Co. are also partners.”
KC's View:
I’m still waiting to hear a legitimate, reasoned argument for why a company wouldn’t want to do its best to eliminate waste in every way possible. It may have short-term fiscal implications, but more companies need to think about long-term sustainability, and use their bully pulpits to persuade consumers to come along with them.