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Venture Update with Rebecca Percasky of The Better Packaging Co.

“Fast forward a year. And we’re launching POLLAST!C, working with communities to collect pollution from the beaches and the waterways. We’re paying them a fair wage to do it. So we’re giving people jobs, putting food on their tables, and then we’re taking that pollution and we’re turning it into packaging.

— Rebecca Percasky, Co-Founder of The Better Packaging Co.

In this episode

Catch up with SheEO Venture The Better Packaging Co! Co-Founder Rebecca Percasky talks about the launch of POLLAST!C, a courier satchel and poly mailer made out of ocean-bound plastic pollution. Becs also shares how support from the SheEO community + other values-aligned investors helped to make this possible.

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Podcast Transcript:

The podcast is being transcribed by Otter.ai. (there may be errors, run-on sentences and misspellings).

Vicki Saunders 0:00
Kate, and Becs from Better Packaging. You may know that they brought the first home compostable courier packaging to market. They caught a huge opportunity and found themselves with filled inboxes, millions of dollars of orders from some of the biggest brands and companies around the world with huge opportunity to scale. Really a kind of rocket ship company. All the things were supposed to want as it scaled up, but it wasn’t enough for them. Being committed to their mission of continued innovation and improvement, they knew they could do better. So just over a year ago, three years into their business, they sat down with their team, and imagined what truly ideal packaging could be. I don’t know if everyone knows the story, but they dared to ask themselves. Imagine if packaging actually cleaned up the environment. 80% of plastic that’s in the ocean is entered through rivers and coastlines. What if it could be removed before it got to the ocean? Imagine if packaging helped break the cycle of poverty and plastic pollution. The poorest places in the world are often the most polluted. Poverty and pollution are intrinsically linked. What if they could break the cycle?

Welcome in to the SheEO.World podcast. Today’s episode is a quick update from a SheEO Venture as they continue their work on the World’s To-Do List.

Rebecca Percasky 1:28
I’m Becs and I’m one of the cofounders of The Better Packaging Co. We were 2019 New Zealand Venture. And when we were a Venture back then we’d sold over 1 million compostable home compostable courier bags. But I’ll back up a little bit. My business partner Kate and I, about five years ago, so that to create a more sustainable courier satchel, and we didn’t have any preconceived ideas of what that would be. We just wanted to create something that was better. And we landed on a home compostable courier mailer, and they’ve been incredibly successful. We sort of had this big order. Well, we thought it was a big order, and it sold out within a couple of weeks. And then we doubled it and sold it out. And we just sort of were hanging on for dear life ever since. And SheEO joined our journeys, I think was about a year and a half into that. And we — since we’ve been a SheEO Venture, we’ve gone from selling 1 million bags to over 16 million courier satchels. So it’s a number we’re incredibly proud of. And SheEO has been with us the whole way. And in wanting to continue to be better, last year, about a year ago, we got a group of us together from our team. And we went right let’s just throw out any ideas we have about what sustainable packaging looks like. And let’s just reimagine what it could be. It was actually one of the best days of my working career because we just said, right there’s not think about money or what’s been created, or anything. If we were going to do this again, how would we do it off, we’re going to recreate things. And so we wrote up this list of about 20 characteristics of what a sustainable package would look like and we really landed on, was sort of a talking around this idea of making it out of waste. Because everyone wass talking about waste free at that point. We were like, we think we can do one better, how about we make it out of pollution, there’s so much pollution in the world. And of course, it needs to be recyclable, it needs to be fit for use, and we had all these other characteristics. And we didn’t really have any idea how we’d do it. But we were like, right, we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna create this bag. And I’m super excited to be here today. Because fast forward a year. And we’re launching POLLAST!C, which is a courier satchel and poly mailers, pretty much any kind of plastic film made out of ocean-bound plastic pollution. So we’re working with communities predominantly in Indonesia and Malaysia, but in Asia to collect pollution from the beaches and the waterways. So some of the nastiest packaging or pollution out there. And we’re paying them a fair wage to do it. So we’re giving people jobs putting food on their tables, and then we’re taking that pollution and we’re turning it into packaging. And we’ve just launched that recently, we’ve got some really amazing brands all around the world jumping on board, but we wanted to share it with the SheEO community to say thank you for all your support. And also just to ask if you can spread the word.

Vicki Saunders 4:32
Becs. It’s huge what you’ve done. I just remember meeting you the first time and you saying like, there’s another way.

Rebecca Percasky 4:41
You’re gonna get me going.

Vicki Saunders 4:43
No, I just I want everyone to really understand how huge this is. Because, you know, it’s, I remember, like you had an inbox full of all these orders from all the biggest companies in the world for the existing product that you had. And instead of just like, go and monetize, monetize, monetize, that. And just go, this is fine, we’ll just go make money off it, you, your whole team just like stopped and said, We can do better. Like this, going back to the drawing board, and putting a pause on, just here to make money, like to really heal the planet is why you’re here. This is why we’re here. So thank you for doing this. And for everyone to really understand that, this is — when you have a bit more flexible capital. And when you have the supportive people around you who are like you can do this your way. This is the kind of innovation that can happen. When you don’t have — when you have investors who have rules that say, no, no, you’re not going back to the drawing board, you need to like hit your numbers this quarter, it’s not possible to create this kind of innovation. So thank you to everyone who’s part of this community that makes this possible. And thank you, Becs, for your leadership. It’s incredible. And we will share far and wide.

Rebecca Percasky 5:50
Thanks, Vicki. Yeah, it is. It’s a really good point. You know, our sales have plateaued over this year while we’ve done this product, and we’ve watched our competitors who have got the, you know, similar product was the compostable, increasing, and it’s really hard to do that. And, but we know we’re so determined to get this product to market and we know it’s the next best thing. Well, it’s the best thing in the market at the moment. There’ll be something better. But it’s, it’s really hard to have that leap of faith. And you’re so right, we’ve been we’ve got the most amazing investors. And we only were able to choose those investors, because of the help that SheEO gave us and that guidance, and they really guided us to choose investors who were really values aligned and patien. The term patient capital I’d actually never heard before SheEO, and it was such an important thing to us that we were actually able to go no, we’re not going to, we’re not going to talk to you guys, we’re actually going to partner with the investors who have the same values and have our backs. So that’s been incredibly helpful. And one of those investors is a SheEO Activator as well. So really, it’s so important that with these new companies, women-led businesses that we support them really early on and show them that they can do it their way. I’m gonna get emotional. Because it is such a journey. And you do= have a lot of doubts along the way. So if you have that support, yeah, that’s amazing. So thank you.

Vicki Saunders 7:25
Thank you for listening to the SheEO.World podcast. Like, comment, subscribe and share this podcast with your friends. We invite you to join a global community of radically generous women and non-binary folks at SheEO.World.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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