France ban the destruction of unsold goods

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France have just introduced a ban that disallows the destruction of unsold goods under an anti-waste law passed by parliament last month. Brands selling goods such as clothing, electrical goods as well as hygiene and cosmetic products will be forced to re-use, resell or recycle them instead. Considering the speed at which global efforts are being made to reduce waste, it might not be long before other countries follow suit.

Consumers are quick to demand sustainable and environmentally friendly ecommerce for obvious reasons however, they are also quick to be put off by high prices and the implementations businesses have to make to take this kind of action. Whilst the idea is nice the overall success will be defined by a balance in consumer needs being met.

One of the reasons goods are destroyed is so that sellers can benefit from drawback duties on products that are imported into the U.S. So, for example if goods from France are imported into the U.S. and unsold they can be destroyed so that 99% of the duties, taxes or fees paid for the importation can be recovered by the seller. Similarly many countries allow brands to claim tax credits for destroyed unsold goods. It seems that there is more reason to the destruction of unsold goods than what first meets the eye.

It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s ZigZag!

There is a very interesting solution to the implementation of anti-waste laws. ZigZag are a SaaS platform offering services that allow businesses to consolidate, refurbish, locally redistribute, recycle, destroy or resell their stock globally on a revenue share basis.

“The solution helps identify when and where the items are coming back, and can redirect it to the most appropriate place according to their condition. By digitising the process, retailers will have the opportunity in the future to reward the most active donors and recyclers.”
– ZigZag

Solutions like this give merchants more options to work around laws that require the re-use of stock. Sellers can direct their returns accordingly.

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