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Business models for reducing plastic waste along the value chain Towards innovative trends in retailing

Plastic packaging has recently gained increased public attention. Short-life packaging, such as food packaging and cosmetics, accounts for around one-third of plastic usage in Germany. To tackle plastic waste, new players with innovative business models are increasingly emerging. Additionally, established retailers are modifying their business models. However, the retail sector's actions to reduce plastic are lacking a systematic approach and running the risk of favoring merely technological solutions. Proactive thinking and strategic action are needed to fundamentally adapt business models towards sustainable transformation. In order to analyze business model innovations, the Business Model Canvas is combined with the six approaches of sustainability-oriented packaging improvements: packaging free solutions, returnable and reusable packaging, reduced use of materials, substitution of materials, revised packaging design and retailer services. The analysis focuses on transport packaging, product packaging and shipping packaging. In the end, successful reduction of packaging waste requires not only business model innovations, but also clear frameworks and incentives set by politics and administration.

More information (German language)