#78 – How to Get Rid of Plastic
in the Ocean
with Eric Hudson, CEO & Founder of Preserve
This story begins with a toothbrush made with recycled plastics. Eric Hudson wanted to demonstrate that everyday products can also benefit from sustainable design and the recycling efforts of individuals.
Through the initial validation of his ideas from large companies such as Whole Foods Market, Eric became the founder and CEO of Preserve, a certified B-Corporation on a mission “to help reduce the harm caused by the industrial age by demonstrating that products can be both fabulous to use and lighter on the earth.”
Given that Eric launched Preserve, headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, United States, in 1997, we talk about their long-term success and sustainability while also discussing how they want to further develop as a viable company, both in terms of financials and social responsibility. Eric and Preserve are constantly coming up with more resourceful ways to tackle this effort. While the first product created to test their premise was a toothbrush, they have since expanded their product lines to include typical household products, like tableware, food storage, cutlery, and the famous Preserve razors.
[Preserve’s Shave 5 Razors. Photo via Preserve.com]
Eric was kind enough to reflect on his lessons learned and share valuable tips and insights from his experience of building an environmentally friendly company that has endured as long as Preserve has. We dive into the specifics of the world of plastics and what Eric sees as some unique and incredible opportunities for us to innovate while finding a resourceful way to live with single-use plastics.
This is done through such initiatives as POPI (Preserve Ocean Plastic Initiative), a product line that is created through recycled plastics rescued from waterways, and Gimme 5, a takeback program in partnership with Whole Foods where consumers can recycle #5 polypropylene plastic. If you want to know more about this ocean plastic pollution problem, and Eric’s logical and sensible ways about approaching the problem, considering the science and the human behavior behind it, this is the episode for you.
Also, if you are interested in what it takes to run a successful industry-leading, sustainable consumer goods company that is ready and apt to break further into the mainstream, serving both customers that fit your very specific target market as early adopters, but also beginning to truly change the industry behavior and consumer behavior around environmental impact, this is definitely the episode for you.
Want more episodes on companies reducing plastic’s impact on the environment? Listen to:
- #36 – Building a “Better” (Plastic-Free, Waste-Free, & Toxic-Free) Business with Kate Jakubas of Meliora Cleaning Products
- #38 – Strategically Planning to Rid the World of Single-Use Plastic, with Jim Osgood CEO of Klean Kanteen
- #12 – How to Divert Over 50,000 Plastic Bottles from Landfills While Growing a Business to $1M in Sales in 2 Years with Lindsey McCoy CEO and Co-Founder of Plaine Products
[In 2018, Preserve donated toothbrushes to 1World1Tribe to support their mission of bringing oral health and education to the rural villages of Myanmar.]
“We are trying to bust down the barriers of classic business, the way business exists, and the way products are made to try to demonstrate what can be done to reduce the footprint of products, and also rethink the way products are made, and rethink the systems that revolve around a product.” -Eric Hudson
- The evolution of Preserve as a company
- Insights into the impact single-use plastics have on the oceans
- Unconventional methods of reducing plastic’s environmental impact
- Innovative Initiatives contributing to the cause (such as POPI)
- The keys to Preserve’s long-term success and sustainability
- How Eric foresees the Preserves continued development
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