This week Sony joined a roster of companies providing in-store recycling kiosks for any electronic product, regardless of its brand. Waste Management also launched a new CFL bulb that comes packaged in a postage-paid box. Consumers can use the container to return dead CFLs to a recycling center, ensuring the bulbs, which contain a small amount of mercury, will be properly discarded. And earlier this month, the Estee Lauder brand Origins announced it will accept and recycle used cosmetic containers from any manufacturer (cosmetics packaging like lipstick tubes and shampoo bottles account for a third of landfill waste!) at all of its stores and counters nationwide. What does this mean for consumers? It’s getting easier to be “green.”
Step one was creating and providing environmentally responsible products, but the cost of a corporate environmental commitment today goes far beyond the store shelf. Companies are stepping up to help ease the common barriers which prevent consumers from proper use and disposal of their products. They are extending their commitments by offering turn-key solutions for responsible engagement throughout the product life cycle, minimizing not only the manufacturing impact of their products, but also accommodating the safe disposal or reuse of materials they contain. And frankly, they are eliminating, one-by-one, the excuses consumers have for not being green.