No More Plastic Waste

Jersey Distributors

13. Climate Action 14. Life Below Water

Overview

Jersey Distributors has been in business for a number of years but has recently expanded. They sell environmentally friendly products that are required for events. Paper plates, biodegradable bags, compostable spoons, and so on. Jersey Distributors purchases biodegradable products made from cornstarch and polyhydroxyalkanoates. By doing so, they reduce the amount of plastic they use, thereby meeting UN SDGs 13 and 14 on climate action and underwater life. As the use of plastic in products decreases, there is less plastic in the ocean, which benefits sea life greatly. And by reducing the amount of plastic used, they are also cleaning up the environment by reducing the amount of plastic in landfills.

Authors

Het Patel

Het Patel

Delaina Wallace

Delaina Wallace

Antonio Sarullo

Antonio Sarullo

Tej Brahmbhatt

Tej Brahmbhatt

John Kokkinakos

John Kokkinakos

School

Rutgers Business School

Rutgers Business School

Professor

Kenneth Welch

Kenneth Welch

Innovation

Jersey Distributors originated at the owner, Jay Patel’s house. The innovation’s involvement consisted solely of the owners parents, until Jay grew up and began helping the family business out. His parents started their research in 2011, getting the company started by looking into products that can better the environment and also help them make a profit. Jay’s father began ordering products such as paper plates, biodegradable bags, and compostable utensils and storing them into his basement as well as advertising at local shops, wedding events, and religious churches in 2013. These products are crucial in defining the UN SDGs because they don’t cause damage to the environment.

Jersey Distributors is in correlation to two UN SDGs which are Climate Action and Underwater Life. Because plastic does not biodegrade, it can be extremely harmful to the environment. As a result, it can contaminate water supplies, fill up landfills full of plastic, and be extremely harmful to life underwater, resulting in sea animal deaths. Therefore, Jersey Distributors buy environmentally friendly products that can easily biodegrade so it does not cause more damage to the Earth.

To introduce the product into the market, Jay’s father began to share his ideas with friends and family who opposed his ideas. But as time passed, his friends and family truly realized the importance of Jay’s products, and started supporting him. Therefore, they developed and implemented these products successfully due to the amount of time they truly put into researching everything and the support they slowly began receiving.

No More Plastic Waste

Inspiration

When the team asked the owner why he chose to make the sacrifice that may have resulted in debt or, in the worst-case situation, bankruptcy, he responded “We love the environment, growing up as a kid we saw how beautiful Earth can be and can still be with a little effort, hard work, and sacrifice.”

The leader of Jersey Distributors, Jay Patel and his father saw a problem in plastic products and came up with a solution. It started off as the two simply having fun at a wedding until they saw “the absolutely nauseating amount of plastic waste” going into the garbage. His father decided to come up with a business idea that could help create a cleaner environment, while also making a profit.

They secured an eco-friendly supply of products, distributing for venues such as weddings, birthday parties, baby showers, etc. As business started to pick up, the father and son duo came up with the idea of acquiring more products to add to their list. These products include but are not limited to biodegradable trash bags, compostable utensils, and much more. The two decided to “network and create connections with local businesses” who still used plastic trash bags, plastic utensils such as forks, knives, and spoons, plastic cups and plates, foam plates/cups, and more.

Therefore, following the networking and connections, they then decided to offer these companies their products to replace the plastic products. The networking and connections is what caused their innovation to take root and grow into a larger company that required a warehouse to store items and maintain track of inventory. The company's objective is to grow, and they intend to have a long-term influence on their community.

Overall impact

Jersey Distributors wished to create a solution that would address the issue of excessive plastic consumption. As a result, they began selling environmentally friendly products to restaurants, religious institutions, and festivals, among other locations. The short-term result of the invention is that money may be obtained from all of these sources and used to support the family. But the long term effect is really deeper, as it will help the oceans and the environment by eliminating/reducing plastic utensils and plastic products.

Instead by using biodegradable bags, compostable spoons, and paper plates/cups, the company creates a twist into selling these items and not only saves the oceans by reducing the plastic, they are also able to help out the environment.

The environmental impact of these biodegradable products is significant to Earth. One way this can be seen is through the effect it has on marine life. Plastic bags and spoons that end up in the oceans cause marine life to eat or become entangled with plastic. Therefore by using biodegradable bags and compostable utensils, they are able to assure that garbage that ends up in oceans may be disposed of naturally. The real data to back this up has yet to be gathered, but all of the science points in its favor - thanks to the law of biodegradability.

Business benefit

This innovation helped Jay’s business in several ways. First of which is customer satisfaction which leads to more sales. Because of the time and money invested into this innovation, customers noticed and appreciated the extra value the product brought them. This should translate into more sales. Customer satisfaction was measured by the company through an annual customer satisfaction survey which resulted in a 6% increase in customer satisfaction and a 4% increase in the number of sales made by a customer.

Another benefit that Jay saw in his business was increased employee satisfaction and retention. Because this innovation was able to bring about a more stimulating work environment, and cultivated pride in the company’s product, they were effectively able to retain all their employees within the past 6 months - in fact, they had to increase their staff and hire two more analysts just last month. During performance evaluations, Jay found that since the innovation, the employee’s satisfaction level increased significantly, from 70% to a high 90%.

Another way that the innovation benefited Jay’s business was by boosting its market position. The innovation differentiated the company from the rest of the competition, thus, increasing their sales. When looking at the number of clients that Jersey Distributors have, you can see the difference that the innovation has had. When looking at pre-innovation numbers, Jersey Distributors only had about 40 big clients. Now, they have about 100.

Social and environmental benefit

This product benefits our society in multiple ways such as establishing a cleaner environment and controlling the amount of plastic that ends up in our land and oceans. By providing biodegradable bags, and compostable utensils, Jay and his company are eliminating pollution plastic waste throughout our towns. The biodegradable bags are beneficial for grocery stores, and restaurants with a take-out option. These options help everyone take part in helping the environment because it provides people with better alternatives. In our area, there is a large amount of pollution, and a majority of this pollution is plastic. With the help of Jay’s company, everyone can work together to lower the amount of plastic pollution.

Jay addresses some of the ways his company benefits our society. While asking about his intentions behind the company he stated, “I wanted to provide a product that addressed the concerns of plastic waste in our area. By supplying products in bulk for events it prevents pollution from ending up in the ocean. Everything is biodegradable, and by providing the products for other people it allows for everyone to participate in helping the community.” According to the University of Southern Indiana, “One ton of paper goods can save seventeen trees, three hundred and eighty gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, four thousand kilowatts of energy, and seven thousand gallons of water.” Through Jay’s paper cups and paper plates product, he is able to take upon this initiative on a monthly basis. This allows him to save approximately eight and a half trees, one hundred and eighty gallons of oil, and so much more through the sale of paper products.

Jersey Distributors sales of compostable utensils and biodegradable bags along with paper cups and plates. This innovation is benefitting society in a way that creates a long-term impact. Paper products decompose at a much quicker rate than plastic products. Therefore, the primary use of this innovation is to lower the amount of plastic that is being used in the community.

Interview

Jay Patel, CEO

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Jersey Distributors

Jersey Distributors

New Brunswick, NJ, US

Business Website: https://NA

Year Founded: 2011

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Jersey Distributors is a small local business located in New Brunswick, NJ consisted of the owner Jay Patel, a manager, and three employees. They embarked on a noble mission of serving their customers to their preeminent potential. They sell paper good plates/bowls, biodegradable bags, and compostable utensils for local restaurants, religious places, and venues. Overall, the company is committed to providing substantial customer service and quality products to over 50 clients.