Our thoughts while evaluating opportunities are two fold:
1. Eliminating single use plastic.
2. Offering convenience to the consumer to switch over to sustainable packaging solutions.
Right now, our focus is set on the Food and Beverage sector which represents the lowest hanging fruit for us, but in the coming years we will also look at ecommerce, fashion and other sectors. Our endgame is to make carbon neutral packaging solutions accessible to every sector.
The magnitude of the problem is so vast that it couldn’t be a winner takes all even if we wished it to be. India alone accounts for about 6000 tons of single use plastic waste processed every day. Facts like these make us realize that the market is too big for a single competitor.
It comes down to conscious consumption and a decision each company takes towards a sustainable future. We anticipate thousands of companies across industries coming together and collaborating. Reconfiguring value chains into circular systems (which is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources) from their current linear roots will drive this change. Climate change waits for nobody. Time is running out. Likewise, for the consumer, smaller conscious choices today will lead to magnified intangible returns in the future.
A reusable supply chain in any industry has major financial improvements over any existing mode in the long term as it converts recurring costs into fixed costs. However, as you point out, currently the economies of scale don’t support such a system. Awareness and creation of the circular ecosystem is a must before we get there. No country in the world has reached there so far.
As a stopgap, Our Cupable solution has worked really well with event organisers [e.g. BookMyShow] who organize multiple events in a year. They have a private ecosystem of cups they use at their events and using our technology and products, they have been able to reuse their cups effectively and achieve at least 25% savings in their costs. Another thing we notice is that there is a major awareness gap in the populace about the options available in the space. We believe that educating the customer itself may lead to mass adoption.
There are a lot of ideas floating in the industry!
1. Augmented Reality
Remember how Pokémon Go allowed users to catch their favorite Pokémon by looking through their phones at the real world – but with superimposed images? Imagine this in sustainability! We believe that incorporating this into packaging solutions will play a major role in educating consumers, marketing and narrative building. Currently, it is too expensive to be used at a mass scale.
2. Social Transformation
With Australia and ‘Bring your own cup,’ it has been widely observed that it became socially unacceptable to not have a conscience about the environment. What if we pressured our peers to be more responsible about our environment?
3. Sustainable choices for MSMEs in a Digital Age
Small businesses offering sustainable choices to consumers in an increasingly digital world. In India itself, brands like BOHECO are paving the way for eco-friendly retail and consumer goods.
4. The BoardRoom Chatter
Sustainability has become a big talking point at board rooms in most companies. We’re hearing about the Incorporation of sustainability into every nuance of the business be it systems, supply chain or financial planning. Investors and governments are also using ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) frameworks to evaluate businesses for capital allocation needs.
5. Recube: A Super App
We envision Recube to become a one stop solution for companies to adopt sustainability. It is easy for us to catcall but it is a challenge for companies to integrate into sustainable models. Our vision is to create an ecosystem of sustainable logistics that can cater to every type of business.