Green Marketing Corner


Question: Can a profit be made by selling recycled goods to consumers?

The answer is:

Yes! There are many highly profitable consumer products on the market that use recycled content. Examples include the Scotch brite Never Rust "wool"soap pad made from preconsumer recycled plastic and Crane's "Denim Blues"and "Old Money" lines of paper made from scraps from blue jean manufacturing and recycled U.S. currency, respectively. Both of these products command a premium price and offer benefits to the consumer beyond just the recycled content. (In the case of Scotch brite, its the fact that the soap pad doesn'trust like conventional steel wool. In the case of the stationery, its the unique aesthetic.)

Of course, there are many examples of products that use recycled content as a way to cut costs. One great one is Marcal, a line of household paper products that has always used recycled content as its raw material (thoughthey didn't mention it to the consumer until recycling became popular.)

An example of a recycled content product that is not doing well is WellmanEcoSpun fiber, made from 100% recycled soda bottles. It has found a limited market among manufacturers who target green consumers (like Nike and Patagonia), but the fact that it is premium priced versus virgin and offersno consumer perceptible benfits besides the "feel good" is a barrier to growth. (This product is a good example of how we may need government intervention in helping to create markets for green products, as most virgin polyester is coming in offshore.)


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