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L. Blaine Fulmer headshot

Herbalife Nutrition Sponsored Series

Nourishing People and the Planet

Recycling Challenge Engages Customers and Reduces Waste in Asia

More than 3,300 Herbalife Nutrition members across Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand sent in over 712,000 product canisters for recycling in the first summer of the Simply Recycle challenge. 
empty canisters being processed for recycling

Empty canisters being processed for recycling. 

As described in its recent Global Sustainability Report, Herbalife says it is committed to sustainable practices and priorities including sustainable packaging and minimizing plastic use. Global efforts to minimize the impact of product packaging include reducing materials, including recycled materials into product packaging, and engaging consumers to recycle more through awareness and education.

“One of Herbalife’s top priorities is moving toward more sustainable product packaging, focusing on reducing single-use plastics throughout our global distribution network, and incorporating more sustainable materials including using 25 percent post-consumer resin in our Formula 1 canisters globally in select markets,” said Stella Tsai, VP of Herbalife Nutrition North Asia. 

The multi-nation Simply Recycle challenge is an example of this mission in action. The packaging take-back program engaged thousands of Herbalife independent distributors across the Asia Pacific region in 2022 and expanded into new markets this year. 

A regional recycling initiative with local impact 

Launched on World Environment Day 2022 and held from June to August of the same year, the Simply Recycle challenge was a big hit with customers. More than 3,300 Herbalife Nutrition members sent in over 712,000 product canisters, resulting in 36 metric tons of plastic for recycling during the program’s first summer.

Herbalife partnered with organizations in Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand to ensure the challenge spoke to the needs and expectations of local communities. 

Some of these nation-specific nonprofit partnerships focused on converting product packaging into new manufacturing materials, for example, while others incentivized the collection of used product canisters from sales and distribution centers in order to reduce waste. 

The company also linked up with One Tree Planted, a global nonprofit organization with a strong footprint in the Asia Pacific, to amplify the impact of the Simply Recycle challenge by planting one tree for every participant who submitted a certain number of used product canisters for recycling. The result was more than 1,400 trees planted, with the potential for 14 tons of carbon sequestration per year. The tree-planting partnership also proved to be a strong motivating factor in getting customers engaged with the challenge, Tsai said.

herbalife recycling challenge in asia
More than 3,300 Herbalife Nutrition members sent in over 712,000 product canisters for recycling in the first summer of the Simply Recycle challenge. 

Engaging stakeholders for sustainability 

Herbalife Nutrition also leverages the impact of stakeholder engagement and NGO partnerships to bolster its other Global Sustainability goals. For example, in addition to environmental initiatives, Herbalife and the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation have made significant strides in improving health and wellness like  providing nutrition education and healthy meals in local communities in need.

Those efforts include HNF’s Casa Herbalife Program — which has engaged 178 organizations like hospitals, schools, and anti-hunger initiatives to provide food and nutrition to more than 229,000 children worldwide. Additional partnerships with the Global FoodBanking Network invests in the fight against food insecurity, reduce food waste and improve sustainability. 

Consumer engagement as a force for lasting change

These nonprofit partnerships and efforts like the Simply Recycle challenge indicate that consumer engagement can — and should — be utilized as a long-term strategy for lasting change. 

When launching the initiative, Herbalife Nutrition conducted a survey of 5,500 consumers in 11 Asia Pacific markets, the majority of whom revealed strong environmental proclivities. More than 75 percent of respondents recognized that environmental sustainability is important when making nutrition-related decisions. In particular, 76 percent feel it’s important to purchase products in recyclable packaging, and 90 percent said they’re more likely to engage with nutrition companies that offer recycling programs. 

In addition to consumers, the Simply Recycle challenge also motivates the company’s network of distributors, Tsai said. “Our distributors support sustainability and appreciated the fact we had launched an innovative initiative to boost recycling,” she told us. “In addition to participating in the Simply Recycle challenge, our distributors also showed an aptitude for creative reuse by transforming empty product canisters into useful items, such as plant pots, money boxes and Christmas tree decorations.”

Going further in 2023

The Simply Recycle challenge kicked off again in April 2023 and runs through September across 14 markets in the Asia Pacific, including Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. 

Herbalife Nutrition and One Tree Planted will plant one tree for every 50 product canisters recycled. And the top three recyclers will receive product vouchers to incentivize participation and friendly competition. 

Engagement programs like Simply Recycle allow consumer companies like Herbalife Nutrition to extend sustainability efforts beyond their own four walls and inspire a sustainability mindset in their stakeholders.

The warm reception for the program among customers, distributors and partners in 2022 bodes well for even higher levels of participation in the future. “We anticipate an even more enthusiastic response this year, resulting in more trees planted,” Tsai said.

This article series is sponsored by Herbalife Nutrition and produced by the TriplePundit editorial team.

Images courtesy of Herbalife Nutrition

L. Blaine Fulmer headshot

L. Blaine Fulmer is a freelance writer focused on sustainability communications, policy and stakeholder engagement. 

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