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Public-Private Partnerships: Win-Win for Business & Policy

Public-Private Partnerships: Win-Win for Business & Policy

Some of the most pressing issues that plague today’s world are related very closely to the environment. From climate change to sustainability to social justice issues. These are complex, multifaceted issues involving multiple multiple stakeholders and the solutions for these lie in the hands of not one individual or institution. In the recent past, we have been seeing businesses that are stepping outside of their boardrooms and collaborating with governments to shape policy that align with their values and can create a larger societal impact. 

Earlier this year, Blueland, a company offering refillable cleaning products collaborated in a partnership with New York City. Blueland put into action a first of its kind bill proposing a ban on single use detergent pods and concentrated laundry detergents. In doing so, this initiative tackles plastic waste on a policy level, therefore encouraging consumers to look towards sustainable practices, which lies in close alignment with Blueland’s core values and solutions.

While directly being involved in policy discussions, it also allows companies to publicly advocate for change. 

 

Blueland stands as an inspiration for Bare Necessities, and they have only paved the path ahead for us to do more on a policy level too. We tried our very best to  tackle the menace of single-use plastic straws, transitioning coconut vendors to organic coconut leaf straws through our project 'The Last Straw.' You can have a look at the challenges we faced, the victories we had and today, it has helped us learn and grow our social enterprise into one that will continue providing sustainable alternatives for the daily necessities we use. We also influenced policy discussions, giving step-by-step recommendations to combat single-use plastics and incentivize alternative solutions.

 

On the product front, especially with our powder-to-liquid range of home care products, we consciously steered away from Poly Vinyl Alcohol (PVA), which has the reputation of being a controversial ingredient. PVA is actually a synthetic polymer which is often marketed as a lining that can be dissolved. However, studies show that 75% of PVA remains in our waterways and soil systems after being dissolved and requires extremely specific conditions to biodegrade. Hence, our no-fuss solution was compostable sachets that had vegetable ink printed on them, so they can completely disintegrate into the soil. 

 

Products that come packaged in PVA are on the rise. There are studies on both sides of the fence regarding PVA, and as Bare Necessities, we made the decision to steer away from this debate in the first place. Composting is a proven method, powder-to-liquid is a mindful step, forever dispensers are part of zero waste living; so let’s use proven methods to make these formats the norm. On a side note: check the ingredients too because packaging is one aspect of things, what goes in it is the other, and this is something we’ve reallllllly taken into consideration with our own in-house formulations. 

These go to show that businesses can integrate social responsibility into their operations. By collaborating with governments, we can pave the way for a sustainable and equitable future.