Warfare On Single Use Plastics
I am going to be completely honest. On occasion, I still utilize single use plastics. Sometimes it is a straw in my ice coffee or fountain Diet Coke or even small bottles of Gatorade Zero. It is not something I am proud of and until recently never gave it much thought.
But then I heard that Adrian Grenier’s (Vinny Chase from Entourage or Nick Brewer from Clickbait) social cause after he got famous was to eliminate single use plastic straws. At first, I thought, for all the platforms to select, that seemed to be an odd one. Then I dug deeper and found out that Americans use nearly 500 million straws per day. Yes, PER DAY! That adds up to an insane amount of unnecessary waste.
Being a business owner, I love watching Shark Tank. I think the best product ever pitched was the Nohbo Ball - an eco-friendly, single-use shampoo ball. Inventor and young entrepreneur, Ben Stern, took at look at what CPG companies were putting on shelves and got the backing of Mark Cuban to embark on a journey to bring these balls to mass market. Mind you he was only 16-years old when he got his deal.
I emailed Ben to ask him where he was in his journey and he responded with the following:
Over the years, the mission of Nohbo to rid the world of unnecessary plastic hasn’t changed, however, our products have evolved quite a bit. I started off with the idea of water-soluble shampoo balls. This is what I presented in front of investors on Shark Tank and was honored to have the support of Mark Cuban. The shampoo balls were a great product but had the tendency to break apart easily. After more research and development, our team came up with a new drop technology that was unique and proved to be a better fit for my idea of creating personal care products that disappear without a trace. In addition to shampoo drops, we make conditioner and body wash drops. We also make soap in the form of slips which melt under water. We continue to work on developing new personal care products that are easy to use and that could replace plastic bottles. We recently launched a new line of products under the brand name Sunrise Session. This includes personal care necessities such as Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash Drops along with our Coconut Soap Slips. These products are available for purchase on our website sunrisesession.com where you can also find more information on each product offered. We are looking to target the hospitality industry in the near future and try to replace plastic bottles in hotels with our sustainable products.
As you can see by Ben’s story, the journey to create industrial change is very hard, which brings me to my main point. If I order Dunkin Donuts iced coffee and the only option for me is a plastic straw, I am going to likely take the straw. So as leaders of business - CEOs, CFOs, CMOs and others – we need to embrace Ben’s thinking and make leadership decisions that will help eliminate unnecessary waste – starting with new ways of packaging and presenting our products.
And if that means that we no longer get plastic straws at Dunkin Donuts, consumers will eventually adapt. But real leaders need to get the ball rolling with BIG decisions that rethink the use of these plastics that are slowly eroding our planet.
Just to be clear, I am not perfect when it comes to single-use plastics. But I know I will adapt when presented with a better option. But as leaders in business, it starts at the top. This can be done and everyone can profit from it. Just need someone to CARE and think BIG like Ben.
Be sure to check out Ben's new business, Sunrise Session. It's time to wake up and break up with plastics.