Sustainable solutions

Great Eco Ideas for post Covid-19

With jellyfish and dolphins seen clearly in the unpolluted water of the Venetian canals and animals taking to the streets during the current Coronavirus pandemic, sustainability could be a top concern when life returns to normal. Most climate and environment ministers in the EU now back a call to put the European Green Deal at the heart of a post-coronavirus recovery.


As they appreciate the natural surroundings around them, many people are putting the environment nearer the top of the agenda of things they consider important. With no traffic on the roads and reports of a drop in air pollution, consumers who like the ‘back to nature’ world we are in at the moment could become more eco-conscious in the way they live, shop, consume and dispose of waste post Covid-19.

There are things that can be put in place by retailers now so they can take the lead when we are out of the current Coronavirus emergency and shops reopen. Many retailers were already looking at their product sourcing, recycling and waste disposal, but now is the time to switch to even greener alternatives.

Alice van der Westen, Business Development Manager at Worldpack, says: “We don’t know what the future will be like for certain, but we do know that everyone in the retail space has had to adapt to the Coronavirus pandemic. What this agility has taught them is that fast thinking around a key challenge is paramount.

“We are seeing a lot of businesses that are currently dovetailing short-term practical work with working on plans for store relaunches, while continuing to develop their green initiatives. Those retailers are keen to know what eco products are available for when stores open again.”

Green retail products

One of the most exciting eco products in the retail world are bio hangers. To make these, recycled plastic is combined with field grass in a process to breakdown the fibres. The resulting concoction is then made into granules to make the hangers. Any waste from the process goes back into the green economy as biomass to make green electricity or fertiliser.

By using these hangers in stores, fashion retailers can reduce their carbon footprint significantly. Even better, the hangers can be recycled several times.

How about other sustainable materials, such as RPET? RPET is essentially recycled plastic bottles, but after the recycling process, the waste can be made into all kinds of materials and fabrics, including RPET polyester, RPET non-woven material and RPET cotton. Alice adds: “We have worked to make suit covers more sustainable by replacing the standard non-woven and polyester products with RPET alternatives. There is no difference in appearance, but by means of certification, retailers can demonstrate that the products are made of recycled material – on the label, as part of their bigger eco identity or by printing icons on the product to inform consumers.”

A Greener Way to take your Shopping Home

Moves to get rid of plastic shopping bags have been going for some time and arguments can be made for and against such action depending on your viewpoint. There are now other materials and products available that can really help with the circular economy. Using a product that is made out of one (mono) material can make it much easier for consumers to recycle and retailers can be smarter with their product choices and design to help with this.

A great, new product that can help retailers is a bag that is entirely made from paper – even the woven rope-like handles. Alice adds: “The handles on this product look just like regular rope handles, which are traditionally made from cotton. They can also be made to look like ribbon for a more distinct and stylish appearance and the bags can be branded too. Using products out of a single material such as these makes it easier for the end consumer to recycle and supports retailers in living up to their eco credentials.”

There is no saying what the main focus post the Coronavirus pandemic will be. But there are real pointers that for many, the natural world and sustainability issues will be key factors. Retailers who make smart decisions in their product choices with green design at their core, will be able to demonstrate their eco identity to shoppers and be the winners overall – not just in sales but for the greater global good.

If you are looking for some greener alternatives and want to change your sustainable impact, give our team a call on +31(0) 88 494 20 80 or email us at

David Mines
Business Development Director

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