How Hospitality & Retail Can Help the Environment

Ever since the world went into the very first lockdown, we have seen some of the most naturally wondrous places benefit from the lack of human contact. One of the most famous locations to endure some much-needed rest-bite would be Venice, Italy, where the water has appeared remarkably clean for the first time in decades. Local residents have truly lapped up these remedial measures with rare sightings of both fish and ducks within its iconic canal.

The lack of tourists also means litter has been greatly reduced, which is especially important for anything made from plastic, as this is hugely damaging to any natural parts of the world. Here at Impulse, we will make sure that upon returning to some form of normality, the fact plastic may be in circulation more often isn’t going to make environmental damage something that swiftly re-emerges. That’s why we will look into biodegradable materials for any shop displays made for our clients!

Even though plastic may have been reduced with the closure of non-essential retail, we have unfortunately seen a trend where protective equipment like face masks and gloves have been thrown away without much care. Unless we are all aware of the impact this has on the world, then the only way to make a real change would be to manufacture the same items with less harmful materials.

Leading the Charge Against Plastic

Plastic is a real killer when fighting against climate change, which is why major brands across the world have looked into how they can modify their approach when supplying products to the masses. Having major businesses lead the charge against this incredibly harmful substance should give the environment a huge helping hand. Below are some of the biggest names acting as key pioneers for this much needed change.


One of the key alterations being introduced by Coca-Cola would be removing the shrink wrap from their multipacks of cans. This is going to be replaced with a paper-based alternative, which will be seen in supermarkets across the world by the end of 2021. This £12.8 million investment is a huge shift for products which are purchased in such large volume across all four corners of the globe.

coca cola logo
cocacola cans
cocacola can pack


Over the course of 2020, Starbucks set themselves a key mission of ridding their distribution of plastic straws. From now on, any coffee aficionados will be handed recyclable plastic cups for their favourite beverages along with straws made from compostable plastic. This is only provided by request, but surely the choice is a simple one when considering how such a small act can make a huge difference.

starbucks drinks


The single biggest company to opt out from using plastic products is McDonalds, as they have realized that their straws and lids took hundreds of years to decompose. In their place are now wooden and cardboard alternatives, making the well-known fast-food chain one of the leading names to make this seismic shift.

McDonalds logo
Mcdonalds drinks
Mcflurry desert at mcdonalds


After successful launches in both Milan and Berlin, Lush oversaw their first UK-based packaging free store in Manchester last year. They now have a product range which is 35% packaging free. There are also a number of products which are made from 100% recycled plastic.

Lush store
Lush store

How has Impulse Helped Reduce Plastic?

It isn’t just the big names that are helping to change the world for the better in terms of plastic use! We have assisted a number of clients with the aim of providing eco-friendly displays for their marketing campaigns. Below are just two of the businesses that have benefited from our work.

Potters Crouch

It isn’t just the big names that are helping to change the world for the better in terms of plastic use! We have assisted a number of clients with the aim of providing eco-friendly displays for their marketing campaigns. Below are just two of the businesses that have benefited from our work.

Potters Crouch

IIA (International Institute of Anti-Ageing)

International Institute of Anti-Ageing display

When IIA came to us and explained how they wanted to completely remove plastic from their products and displays, we were only too happy to give them the help they were looking for. They now operate with recycled cardboard, printed with eco-friendly vegetable inks. An eye catching display was then manufactured which could hover in the air due to the inclusion of a levitation device.

The Importance of Reducing Plastic

According to the BBC, 6.3bn tonnes of plastic waste had been generated by the year 2015, and almost 80% of this was sent to landfills or natural parts of the world. In recent times, we have seen retailers bring in new initiatives such as the 5p charge for the use of plastic bags, which didn’t seem to put off shoppers as major names still managed to make £2.1 billion in 2018. Some of the most common items to be thrown away recklessly are carrier bags, rice bags and plastic used for ready meals. Only around 3% of these were actually recycled in the same period!

Why is Plastic Commonly used in Hospitality & Retail?

The key reason plastic has been deployed by most retail and hospitality companies would be the fact this material above all else is highly strong and durable. Since things like fast-food restaurants operate with proficiency at the centre, they also benefit from the fact plastic can be manufactured incredibly quickly. Time is also of the essence for businesses who want effective merchandising within stores, as quick turnarounds are needed to take advantage of the most contemporary marketing trends.

Using plastic is also advantageous when setting a prominent impression with any displays, as materials like acrylic offer a sleek and polished finish. There is no question that plastic has been a great addition to our lives in terms of adding comfort, safety and convenience, but we are mis-using this and harming our planet substantially. So, before you think about getting a brand new sport display installed, think carefully about how this needs to be designed and manufactured in an eco-friendly manner.

How Can the POP Industry Make a Change?

We can’t hide from the fact plastic has been used massively within the world of both POS and POP displays. Certain designs are likely to require some form of plastic to give off the right impression, so we can look at how recycled alternatives can be used or even completely different materials like MDF or metal.

One of the main sectors to call upon plastic for their displays is the cosmetic industry, largely because they want to exude quality with the way their products come across in stores. Being able to achieve that all-important high-end feeling with beauty and personal care displays can be tough without plastic, however blending different metals and MDF can often achieve great results when utilised effectively.

In order to enforce our approach for material utilisation, we work alongside clients to ensure they get what they want in a more eco-friendly manner. Since many customers are likely to be conscious of how we can preserve the planet, it’s important for displays to portray the same motive from the businesses they are advertising.

Giving the Ocean a Helping Hand

Implementing certain measures with the planet in mind is only going to be a good thing for wildlife that lives within the ocean. People like David Attenborough have spoken ad nauseum about how plastic can have devastating consequences on fish, which heightens the need to think very carefully about how we dispose of certain products after use.

fish chasing rubish in the ocean

Many schools are now looking at how they can educate young children about the importance of using sustainable materials so that they are acutely aware of the changes that need to be brought into play. The younger members of society are now helping adults change their ways so that together, recycling becomes a normal feature behind our everyday lives.

A number of major holiday destinations are also leading the charge as they don’t want to fall foul of plastic being scattered across what are some of the most stunning locations around the world. They have introduced things like ‘clean up’ days, where holidaymakers and local students are actively encouraged to remove harmful plastics from beaches. Eating healthy can also help, as this will again reduce the need to handle plastic.

Here at Impulse we embrace the transition and implore you to also find sustainable and environmentally conscious materials for future project designs.
Please contact ImpulsePOP to arrange a way of helping you achieve your goals.


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