It’s estimated that 8 million pieces of plastic pollution end up in our oceans. Every day. 8 million pieces per day. As a result, more than 100,000 marine mammals and turtles, and 1 million seabirds are killed by plastic pollution each year.
By now we’ve all seen the images of the vast tracts of plastic islands in the ocean that amount to ecocide. The problem is so pervasive and persistent that plastic has wound up in our food supply as a result of ocean and animal life consuming our waste, and us consuming them. It’s a problem the world has largely ignored due to the massive influence of plastic in all areas of manufacturing and consumption.
Together with her colleagues Alexey and Gilmar, a young entrepreneur from New Zealand named Emma Grose, who now makes her home in the United States, founded a company to tackle two small pieces of the plastic puzzle. Toothbrushes and drinking straws. Sounds small indeed, right? Let’s start with where Emma’s journey began and talk toothbrushes.
According to studies, 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the United States alone. That’s 50 million pounds of waste every year. Suddenly, Emma’s idea doesn’t sound so small.
In this episode we speak with Emma about her companies Mable Brush and Hay Straws. Mable Brush manufactures bamboo toothbrushes that are delivered in sustainable packaging. Hay Straws manufacturers drinking straws that are made of, well, hay. Wheat to be exact. We talk to Emma about the challenges of launching a sustainable company, how to get scale with new products that challenge conventional wisdom and even touch on how a children’s cartoon influenced the founders’ vision for a more sustainable future.
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