There was a time not so long ago when news about finding a plastic shopping bag six miles below the surface of the ocean would have landed in the section labeled “Odd and Improbable.” Not anymore.
At the end of April, a manned submersible vehicle spotted a shopping bag and candy wrappers at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, a huge deep canyon in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is the third such sighting in two years and became a leading news item. That’s compelling evidence that we’ve passed the tipping point in consumer awareness about sustainability, which means retailers will have to adapt and anticipate … or pay the penalty.
It reminds one of the famous speech by Patrick Henry, Virginia’s first governor, in which he uttered the words, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Today the call to action might begin, “Give us sustainability,” as 2019 is shaping up as the year when consumers really begin to put their wallets where their hearts are. And those wallets will only become more powerful in the years ahead.