To show how we can live with less consumption, Lauren Singer was able to fit eight years worth of trash in a single mason jar including a clothing price tag, stickers from produce and festival bracelets.
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“[It’s] a symbol that demonstrates the possibility of living with little trace on the planet,” she told Crunchbase News. “With our modern consumption patterns, most of us can’t fit a day’s worth of waste in a trash can, let alone a year in a jar.”
To inspire others to live a zero-waste lifestyle, Singer started Package Free in 2017. The 30-person company just raised a $4.5 million seed round led by Primary Venture Partners. Other firms participating in the round included Scooter Braun’s TQ Ventures, Day One Ventures, and high-net worth individuals from Peloton and Casper.
“A [surprise] came through the fundraising process, which was an entirely new experience in itself,” Singer told Crunchbase news. “As a female CEO in [my] 20s, it was interesting to see that there are so few women in decision-making roles within the VC space. I’m grateful to have found and brought on some brilliant women as investors, but I realize that is not the case for many executives.”
What The Company Does
New York-based Package Free offers a line of plastic-free and zero-waste everyday lifestyle products, ranging from bamboo toothbrushes and mason jars to natural “tooth powder.” Other products include a natural pacifier, and a dog shampoo bar. The seed round will be used to introduce more products, Singer said.
As for packaging, which is one third of the waste found in dumps , the company states that it ships all items “100% plastic free in an upcycled or 100% post-consumer box with paper wrapping and paper tape.”
The company stated that it has been cash positive and profitable since “day one” and gets sales from a brick-and-mortar Brooklyn storefront and its e-commerce site.
Package Free claims that through its products, it has diverted 75 million units of trash — “including 20 million plastic bags, 15 million plastic straws, 1.5 million plastic water bottles, 1 million coffee cups, and 250k razors from landfills.”Last week, millions of protestors gathered worldwide for the Global Climate Strike. It was a stark, visual reminder that the climate crisis is an inter-generational pain point. And looking at the public’s willingness to support efforts to be more sustainable, a company like Package Free could fit right into that demand.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias