PKN talks... Reducing single use plastic waste and funding removal of ocean plastic, with Mike Smith of Zero Co.
In this episode, Lindy Hughson, managing editor & publisher of PKN Packaging News, talks with Mike Smith, founder of Zero Co, about reducing single-use plastic in the home and removing plastic from the oceans.
We start the episode with Mike discussing the inspiration behind Zero Co, following his encounters with plastic waste while travelling in remote areas of the planet, leading him to research possible solutions and start a company to help address the problem. He then talks about how the company was started, the three steps required to address the issue of plastic waste, and how addressing the problem is core to the organisation's existence.
This leads us to Zero Co's business model, that directly funds removal of plastics from the ocean for recycling to produce their products, which do not add to the single-use plastic problem, as they are all reusable and recyclable. Mike acknowledges that it was maybe somewhat overly ambitious to try four things that have never been done before in the one start-up, but they have managed to make it work in the end.
Mike talks to us about growth of the company from one of the most successful Australian Kickstarter campaigns to date, through to currently having almost 40,000 clients, the level of single-use plastic reduction Zero Co is contributing to and the launch of their new personal care products through a pre-order campaign. He also acknowledges the advantages of being e-Commerce based, given both Covid and the increased prevalence of online shopping, along with the benefits of being closer to their customers.
We wrap the episode by reviewing how Mike's experience gained with his previous two start-ups have helped him with Zero Co, the complexity of starting such an innovative operation during Covid and handling growth. He also gives advice to new start-ups in the sustainability space and notes the importance of collaboration to solve the problems of recycling and reduction.
This episode was sponsored by Bonfiglioli.
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MC: Grant McHerron
Host: Lindy Hughson
Editor: Chris Visscher
Producer: Steve Visscher
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