Many soccer players at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa are wearing jerseys made almost entirely from plastic bottles rescued from landfills in Japan and Taiwan. This is part of Nike’s efforts to incorporate sustainability, or environmentally responsible practices, into its product design.
Manufacturers like furniture makers, carpet manufacturers, clothing retailers and makers of shampoos and household cleaners are including more recyclable or biodegradable components into products. Big-box retailers like Wal-Mart are joining in. The movement goes by many monikers — ”cradle to cradle,” eco-efficiency, life cycle improvement, closed-loop production.
When it is about cutting costs — by reducing waste, selling recyclable components and reusing byproducts like rubber or plastic to create a new product – this can mean millions of dollars in annual savings.
When it is about consumption – according to a survey by Penn Schoen Berland Associates, in 2008 American consumers doubled their spending on sustainable products and services.
Read more: Products That Are Earth-and-Profit Friendly by Sindya N. Bhanoo (New York Times)