“If the client tells you they're doing it because it's the right thing to do, you haven't successfully accomplished the goal of explaining why it's a good business decision.”
Ultimately, Loop deems simplicity as its secret sauce: By joining and filling products into durable containers instead of disposable ones, a brand can enter reusable consumption and its associated sustainability benefits without encountering many of the drawbacks. Instead of asking brands to develop and install product filling stations in stores, the ask instead becomes that they switch from plastic to aluminum.
In addition to helping companies achieve their sustainability goals, it also unlocks the potential for innovation. Whereas cheap, disposable packaging carries no accompanying innovation budget, the packaging used in Loop subsequently becomes an asset to the manufacturer.
Szaky cited Ajinomoto as an example, a Japanese food company developing food packaging with humidity and temperature sensors that will deliver product quality details to a consumer’s smartphone. In addition to appealing to consumers through a beautiful design, this innovation is only made possible because consumers aren’t purchasing the packaging, said Szaky, but merely borrowing it.
Retailers, meanwhile, are also drawn to Loop because of the same motivation: They want to solve the packaging part of our global waste problem, and they want to do it in a way that's simple for them.
They don't want to install refill stations, he noted. They want to just sell products that are delightful and irresistible to the consumer, who in turn want better experiences without inconvenience.
“People want to desperately do the right thing,” Szaky said. “Sure, there's a few sort of, you know, psychopaths who are evil people, but people are generally good people.”
At the same time, while people want to be purposeful, they need to work within the constraints that they are provided, said Szaky, even if it’s something as uninspired as profit maximization, and failing to reconcile this is where many sustainably-minded companies struggle, he said.