Right now, the infrastructure to reduce single-use plastics just does not exist in a way that is accessible to the average American. That’s despite the fact that 75% of Americans said they have changed their behavior in recent years to become more environmentally conscious, according to a 2019 study by the Consumer Brands Association. However, outside of big cities, or the rare eco-friendly small town, it may be challenging for consumers to act on their environmental concerns. That’s why businesses like LimeLoop, a company that manufactures and distributes reusable packaging for online retail, are not only crucial for sustainable progress, but also a good investment.

By targeting online shopping, Limeloop and their clients can market to a segment of the population who have never had access to eco-friendly shopping options. A lack of government funding has resulted in significant cuts to wide-scale recycling programs in recent years, and in some places, people don’t even have access to basic recycling programs. A lot of people across the country have the motivation, but not the means, to adopt more environmentally conscious behavior. There is demand, but not supply. Tapping into that market via online retail is a savvy move. It means having access to eco-conscious consumers even if they don’t live in an eco-conscious place.

This is not to say that the path ahead is going to be all smooth sailing for companies like LimeLoop. The fact is that being a groundbreaker in a new industry means making a few mistakes. For instance, Limeloop initially used a solid plastic envelope on the front to put in labels, but that wasn’t ideal for USPS’s system of marking on the labels with permanent markers. You are bound to occasionally get lost when traveling in uncharted waters, but lessons are learned and setbacks can be overcome.

Companies like LimeLoop will need to find creative ways to reassure investors and customers. If they can identify and target their ideal audience and manage their startup challenges, the end result will be worth it.