The Power Of The Pouch
INSIDE SCOOPS

The Power Of The Pouch

Behold the mighty Zero Co refillable pouch, the adorably soft and squishy object helping us close the loop and untrash the planet.

We’re chuffed to see so many new businesses getting into the refill game when it comes to home cleaning products. One of our goals was always to blaze a trail in the industry, and show that if a tiny business in Byron Bay can create change, there’s no reason why the largest businesses in the world can’t copy it. 


In fact, lately we’ve been daring our biggest competitors to steal our ideas and rip off our business model, because we’re not going to be able to solve the global single-use plastic problem all by ourselves. 

 

Not what you usually hear from a company, so what else makes our approach different to so many others? Heaps, but one of the most important is that we’ve created a closed loop system and one of the key ingredients to achieving that is our refillable pouches. 


More businesses are supplying refillable bottles nowadays, which is awesome, because it saves new single-use plastic from being produced. Problem is most of those same brands are asking customers to buy plastic pouches of their product that get used once before being tossed in the recycling bin – something we know isn’t great, because only 1.5 out of 10 items in Australia actually get recycled.  


Meanwhile, our refillable pouches are made from almost half recycled plastic, diverted from landfill, so they’re helping solve the problem before we even get started. These little babies then get filled, shipped to our legendary customers, emptied, and shipped back, all carbon negative. They then move on to get cleaned (easier said than done), refilled, and sent back into the world, officially closing the loop. Yah-frigging-hoo!

 


Getting our pouches back is a big deal, because that’s when we officially calculate the amount of new single-use plastic we’ve stopped from being produced. And for those playing along at home, right now that figure stands at 256,000 water bottle’s worth of plastic saved. This is the number that gets us out of bed in the morning and it’s all thanks to our pouches. Well, actually, the combo of our pouches and our super mega awesome pouch recovery machine.


The story of the Zero Co pouch recovery machine could become a Hollywood movie someday, it’s that epic. Thinking about the cast and script, we have the young unknown hero who has to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, the sagely elder imparting wizardly advice, the constant setbacks, a near total disaster, lucky breaks, lots of blood, sweat and tears, a few laughs, and a classic fairytale ending. And that’s the short version. The rest is best summed up with some words from the young unknown hero, our engineer Jack, who brought the machine to life:


Think about investing your money and starting a business all in the hope that a young engineer is going to solve the critical problem for you and that it's going to work. When something's never been done before there's no playbook. You need to make it up as you go, and you need to deliver the results quickly. 


Turns out that no one's really done this and it's actually a pretty complicated problem. There were sleepless nights. Countless weekends. We had COVID. We had to sanitise patches to the highest of standards. The list was endless. 


When you start to see all the pouches come back from customers, and then you put them in a box, and then that box turns into a whole pallet, it adds up really quickly. The scale of this problem is so significant and I had that in my face every day. Having that as motivation to get this job done was huge. It really has been life changing.”

 


Today, with our pouch recovery machine humming, its home has become a special place for Zero Co, because it sits at the core of our business and our mission. So much so, that every employee, regardless of their title, spends two days a year getting their hands dirty clean working in the facility. Tucked away in a nondescript warehouse, in an out-of-the-way industrial park, we’re out here proving anyone can solve big problems – you just need to be completely obsessed.


So next time you pick up one of our pouches, take a second to admire how it feels in your hands. That’s not just a bag full of body care or cleaning product. You’re holding the solution to the global single-use plastic problem. Not only that, you’re a big part of that solution, so a tip of the refillable pouch to you. 


Now all you have to do is remember to pop the empties in your return envelope and we’ll take care of the rest.

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Wanna win an adventure for two to K'gari and get $5 off your next order? All you have to do is vouch to return your pouch. Register here. 

Published on Tuesday 3 May, 2022