Australian packaging company, Hero Packaging, announced its launch in the U.S. The company says its mission is to drastically slash plastic pollution worldwide by replacing plastic mailers with its certified compostable packaging.
“Local governments have been increasingly banning the use of single-use plastics and whole industries are now following suit,” says Hero Packaging co-founder Vikram Davé. “But COVID has pushed the e-commerce industry to the brink and the result is that plastic packaging is having a huge environmental impact."
Co-founder Anaita Sarkar suggests that although small businesses were willing to be more eco-friendly, many were at a loss over what they could do to help. “The creation of our products is to make it simpler for businesses to take a step in the right direction. Packaging is one of the first things companies think of when it comes to sustainability.”
Hero Packaging’s mailers are reportedly zero waste packages that have been subject to trial-and-error testing to create a product that was truly able to break down completely in the environment.
“We have learnt along the way that recycling is not enough,” explains Davé, citing that 90% of plastics and food scraps ultimately end up in landfill. “Our mailers are not only 100% compostable, but also made from materials that if they do end up in landfill, would still break down."
The company says that consumer response to the resulting Hero Packaging mailer has driven the company’s year on year growth to currently sit at 212%, with a forecast of 122% for 2022.
Sarkar says she still remembers the catalyst for creating the business, “I had an e-commerce business, and one day I saw our two daughters sitting amongst a huge pile of plastic, playing with the bubble wrap. It horrified me to think of the sheer volume of plastic that was going out there and straight into landfill. I knew we had to do better than this.”
“We went through so many different materials before we settled on our Holy Grail,” said Sarkar, “we finally created one that was compostable, but also waterproof, durable and behaves like plastic in the shipping process. It does everything your plastic mailer does, with no cost to the environment.”
The Future of Sustainability
The couple estimate that they have saved more than 15,000,000 plastic mailers from entering the environment in the midst of the online shopping boom of 2020. Though Hero Packaging primarily services top retailers in its home market, international clients like Lush Cosmetics are coming to the table too.
With the U.S. expansion already underway, Hero Packaging is aiming for ambitious targets that are yet to be fully revealed.
“We’ve got the biggest range of compostable mailers — possibly in the world at this point,” says Sarkar. “The advantage is in the customizability of our products. We’re always adding new colors and we partner with our brands to customize limited edition mailers to suit their needs.
“Most of all, our product development is ongoing. We’re definitely keeping up with what’s happening in the market so we can continue to improve and offer a better product range. Our aim is to grow the business as much as possible and the US market presents a lot of opportunities for growth.”