L’Oreal plans to kill single-use plastic to solve Gen Z’s biggest issue

L’Oréal is betting heavily on the future of sustainability. He hopes young workers are paying attention.

The French-based cosmetics giant is a founding donor of The Recycling Partnership’s Small Town Access Fund (STAF), which supports recycling programs in U.S. cities with fewer than 50,000 residents. Their support is poised to bring better access to recycling to nearly 45,000 American households, potentially bringing into the system 6 million pounds of recyclables currently languishing in landfills each year. It will also provide recycling education to more than 78 million people across the country.

The partnership comes at a time when climate anxiety is reaching a fever pitch, and for good reason. Extreme weather is becoming more common, which the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions says is an indicator for more severe climate emergencies to come.

L’Oréal is trying to do its part in the fight against climate change with a transformational sustainability strategy and a deep commitment to solving environmental challenges, explains Marissa McGowan, director of sustainability for North America at L’Oréal . the fortune.

Forty percent of single-family residents in the US, or 40 million people, don’t have recycling services that match trash services, according to the association’s Paying It Forward report. Small rural areas tend to suffer more due to financial constraints resulting from lower population density. Without curbside recycling programs, many cities are left with only drop-off options.

These can add up significantly. Individual households generate an average of 767 pounds of recyclables annually. The STAF hopes to end this path.

Domestically, McGowan says L’Oréal has “a number of commitments” to improve its own use of plastic by the end of the decade, including using 100% recycled or “bio-based” plastic and ensuring that the 100% of the plastic either. rechargeable, reusable, recyclable or compostable.

They are bold, McGowan admits, adding that this is why bridging the systemic gap, through programs like STAF, is so vital. STAF seed funding signals to other corporations that the program is credible and legitimate,” and [that] there’s real support behind it,” he says. “Then others get involved and hopefully you multiply the impact.”

Appealing to face of sustainability: Gen Z

McGowan hopes the partnership will also help L’Oreal tap into Gen Z. Research has shown that Gen Z workers care deeply about working for companies that align with their interests and values. Chief among them is climate change activism, which many Gen Zers have grown up prioritizing. Few are willing to work for a company that does not share their urgency.

“I can’t imagine a career that isn’t connected to even being a small part of a solution,” Mimi Ausland, 25, founder of Free the Ocean, a company that aims to leverage small actions to eliminate the ocean plastic he said the guardian last year.

Seventy-five percent of American consumers say that a brand’s sustainability is important when making a purchase; 62% prefer to buy from sustainable brands, found recent research from consumer analytics firm First Insight and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“My hope comes from the younger people who see sustainability as a fact; it’s not political, it’s not a debatable thing. Climate change is happening,” McGowan said. “So how do we deal with it in a way that feels consistent with our values?”

Young workers are asking these questions and demanding that employers answer them, McGowan knows, and she explains. “I always think about myself; this is what i want And I hope other people will too.”

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