An Overview Of Our Solution
Going by the social media tag @BabyWhaleShark_, I have dedicated my life to aiding the fight against ocean bound plastic and other pollutants. With the current state of the world during the COVID crisis, I have been left to start to plan out ways to help further. One of them, which I will be discussing in this submission, is the idea of a company using plastic from recycle centers and local communities to create products, like plastic bath toys, cups, figurines etc. As the company become more profitable, the more the company can expand its product lists, using other recyclable materials to create products and using other plastics that are usually not recyclable. What I hope with this submission is to gain attention and help from other people to help this company come to fruition.
- Population Impacted 870,000
- Continent: North America
This business I would like for it to become a B corporation, with its main emphasis on plastic pollution and climate change. The way I would like to start the business is by working with local community recycle centers to gain materials and hosting community and beach clean-ups to increase pollution awareness. I believe with the use of social media and community reach this business will become more successful. That will allow it to expand to other places to clean-up more plastic, pollutants, educating the local communities on their contributions etc. The main challenge that I am facing is finding a team and funding to start this.
Describe the technical solution you wanted the target audience to adopt
I would like to start the company by creating children's toys and figurines. Children’s toys are often thrown away after a certain period and are usually make out of non-recyclable plastic. By creating toys that can be recycled or biodegradable, this will lower the amount of these products being thrown in landfills or ending up polluting the ocean. Once the company becomes more profitable, I would like to expand into clothing, housewares, eco-friendly packaging, etc. This will allow the company to use more plastic that would otherwise go into the ocean, expand our customer base, and educate more people about these issues and what they can do to help.
Describe your behavioral intervention.
With the company being a business with the mission statement of fighting against plastic pollution, we will have to work with the local community recycle companies to gain the materials and turn them into our product(s). The company will also host community and beach clean-ups to acquire more materials and increase awareness within the community. It will give the local community a feeling of attachment to the products they purchase, help keep their home clean, and bring more attention to the plastic pollution crisis. I would also like to use online promotion by using social media (YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), Google Ads, and Facebook ads. By doing so, we will reach a broader range of customers for a fraction of its price to do commercial advertising. When the company becomes more profitable and able to open store fronts in different locations, I would like to implement programs where customers can turn in recyclable materials for discounts.
Behavioral Levers Utilized
As needed, please explain how you utilized the lever(s) in more detail.
Social Influences: With the usage of social media and public figures will influence customers to purchase from the company.
Material Incentives: By purchasing from the company the customer will receive a product that is made from recyclable materials.
Information: On the company's website will be links, research papers, and other charities dedicated to ocean cleanup organizations, local beach cleanups, at-home activities to help with plastic pollution etc.
Describe your implementation
Because the business with the mission statement of fighting against plastic pollution, we will have to work with the local community recycle companies to gain the materials and turn them into our product(s). It will give the local community a feeling of attachment to the products they purchase, help keep their home clean, and bring more attention to the plastic pollution crisis. As we earn a profit, I would like to expand to clothing, housewares, accessories, etc. This will allow the company to use more plastic, expand our customer base, and educate more people about these issues and what they can do to help. To help customers come back and feel more apart of cleaning the ocean, I would like for a points system to be implemented to show how much plastic was used in the products they purchase. Listed below are some weaknesses and solutions about this business.
Many small businesses are closing due to the pandemic
Oversaturation in the toy industry
Specializing in ocean-themed style toys before expanding into different industries.
By using online promotions, we will be able to reach more customers and contact them as well.
Will spend less on advertising using social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, and GoogleAds.
Describe the leadership for your solution. Who is leading the implementation?
The leadership team I would like are a diverse set people who all excelled in their in different fields and would like to use those skills to aid in the stopping plastic pollution. I have always adapted the mindset of if you have many people from different backgrounds and career fields, you will have a more “well-rounded” team then if your team all had similar skills and backgrounds. And because I have a more “pace-setting” leadership style, I like to show everyone how this can be implemented in an effective way. As I am a youth (23-year-old), my leadership team will have to involve youth. I would also like for there to be more experienced team members to help aid the group in directions that can help us achieve our goals.
Share some of the key partners or stakeholders engaged in your solution development and implementation.
As of right now, I do not have any key partners or stakeholders. I would like for my business to work with local recycling centers to obtain plastic material. By doing this, we will be working closely with a local government official to ensure we are in full compliance with any laws about plastic materials usage.
Who adopted the desired behavior(s) and to what degree? Include an explanation of how you measured a change in behavior.
Consumers will adopt a new behavior by looking into how each company contributes to fighting against all forms of pollution and climate change. It has been slowly occurring naturally over the past five years as the effects of climate change have been happening. Such events like the longer and stronger hurricane seasons shown this year 2020, more enormous and uncontrollable forest fires on the west coast of the United States of America, and the increased findings of plastic inside caught fish for consumption. Being a company with the primary mission to stop plastic from entering the ocean by it from recycling companies will cause consumers to become more aware of how other corporations are dealing with and participating in pollution.
How did you impact water pollution? Please be specific and include measurement methodology where relevant.
By interfering with the cycle of plastic entering the ocean, we will be stopping the issue. Due to the majority of plastic that is recycled in the United States, they have ended up in poorer countries where they will still end up in waterways, streams, and eventually, the ocean. By purchasing the plastic directly from recycling companies, we will be avoiding this issue entirely. The larger the company becomes, the more recycled plastic we can buy, the less the plastic can become pollution.
How has your solution impacted equity challenges (including race, gender, ethnicity, social class/income, or others)?
Being an African American woman, I plan on using parts of the profits to help with many social issues that I hold very near to my heart. One I would like to implement is hiring ex-convicts inside my company to help keep them from finding illegal ways to earn income. I was raised in an impoverished environment where I learned and saw first hand the school to prison pipeline. I want to stop this by providing donations to low-income and predominantly African American and Latinx public schools. I would also like to help said school creates and upkeep environmental clubs that will plant trees, start local gardens, and raise awareness about local laws and politicians for and against such matters. That is also very important to me as those communities will be affected the most by climate change.
What were some social and/or community co-benefits?
By working with local recycling companies, the business will have a considerable impact on local communities. As previously stated, I want to provide low-income public schools with financial assistance to fund environmental programs. Doing so will raise awareness of local environmentalists' efforts to combat pollution of all kinds. Also, hosting cleanups (whether it is a beach, roadside, parkway, etc.) will help those living in said communities feel empowered and control their environment.
What were some environmental co-benefits?
By purchasing the recycled materials, it will lower the chances of plastic being littered and polluting the environment. With the company's profits, I want to ensure that public schools have environment awareness clubs alongside public gardens. Having the youth be more aware of their power and ability to make a change will cause the environment to flourish. I also want to host tree planting events, litter clean-ups, and host gardening events that promote plants native to help with biodiversity.
What were some sustainable development co-benefits?
As of right now, plastic usage seems as though it will continue even with the adverse effects on the environment. With the company using recyclable plastics to create products, I would also like to research how to use other forms of materials polluting the environment. That way, we can fund was to gain those materials after consumers no longer need them. These plastics include plastic bags, metal cans, and rubber products, to name a few. This way it be sustainable and can continue.
Sustainability: Describe the economic sustainability of your solution.
My company will rely firstly on grant and investment funding. That funding will be used to begin production, conduct initial promotion, and establish an online selling platform. Once that is complete, this business economic sustainability will be based on market-based revenue. The market-based revenue will provide the business with stability as it gains customers. Also, this revenue will allow the business to research more products we can make, what new materials can be used in products, etc.
Return on investment: How much did it cost to implement these activities? How do your results above compare to this investment?
As if right now, the cost of these activities is unknown due to pandemic. I plan on starting this business with the mindset of it being low cost. At the beginning stages of this business, I plan on working in as many roles as I possible can to ensure the costs of the business stays down as well as the prices. That way the products can be affordable, and we will be able to reach more consumers as well as educate them in environmental issues and solutions.
How could we successfully replicate this solution elsewhere?
The business model has been done before, but for different products. One main company is 4ocean. That company uses recycled plastic to create bracelets. Now, they have products such as to-go bamboo utensil sets, reusable bags, and collapsible travel straws. In 2017, 4ocean sold $30 million work of bracelets and used over a million pounds of trash from the ocean. I believe this can be replicated in my company and the funding can be used to create more products for consumers. The funding will also be used to hire and train more personnel to work for the company.