This edition of RL Magazine is all about the Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle (the 3 R’s) world we are becoming, albeit at a slow pace. There is a lot of waste that that can be reduced, and that includes the consumer products that are returned with nothing wrong. There are many products that can be reused often with minor repairs or have refurbishing work done, and there is a significant secondary marketplace growing in the USA and other countries. Certainly, there are many consumer products that can be recycled, and my own home experience is that the green bin fills up much faster than the brown trash bin. So we can make a difference in our world.
When I was in the sales portion of my career (Sony, Philips) for many years, there was rarely a day when I even thought about consumer product returns and their impact to the 3 R’s. The first Earth Day was in 1970 and I along with many others just thought about newspapers, cans, and plastic bottles as a focus for recycling. Now as the executive director for the world’s major association focused on reverse logistics and returns, I recognize and talk about the billions of products that are sold forward and come back by the millions with not enough good programs to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. I have watched and helped programs to reduce unnecessary returns, developed simple plug & play programs to return products for resale, and helped one major corporation stop spending to destroy products and turn them into raw materials and collect revenue for the many pounds of products.
We can all do better with Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle. The RLA is a member focused association that promotes the best practices in these areas, and there are articles in this edition of RL Magazine about them. Reverse logistics is the cornerstone of the Circular Economy, and we can all drive better use of our resources by learning and using the next best practices that the RLA helps to promote. Make a difference at your company.