An ambitious startup called Blueland launched two weeks ago with a simple concept, but the company is hoping to revolutionize the way we buy cleaning products.  They are selling a set of durable, reusable plastic bottles along with tablets that dissolve in water that can be re-ordered, thus eliminating the need to buy household items in single-use plastic containers.  Blueland is convinced that its customers over time can eliminate the need for 100 billion single-use plastic bottles in the U.S. alone.

  • The company’s first product is a “Clean Up Kit” that costs $29 and includes three large bottles and tablets — a Multi-Surface, Glass+Mirror, and Bathroom cleaner, and the refill powder packets are $2 each.
  • Their research showed that cleaning products are a “low-interest category with very little brand and channel loyalty. It is an easier category to have someone try us out, versus categories like shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste.”
  • They also realized that there were huge climate, water conservation, and consumer benefits to selling the refills as powdered packets because cleaning sprays are 95% water — thus the company could reduce the product’s weight drastically, which reduced shipping costs, and that meant lower costs to consumers.
  • Blueland’s Forever Bottle is made from 100% BPA free plastic, and the replaceable tablets are made with non-toxic ingredients. 

The company’s founder, Sarah Paiji, who previously worked as a venture capitalist, told how she came up with the concept — “she wanted to cut back on her plastic consumption, and reduce her contribution to the overabundance of plastic waste in the environment, but felt that as a consumer she didn’t have a choice.”  She realized as she was using water to dilute baby formula that she could do the same with other household items, “[t]hese cleaners are mostly water. I’m paying for a plastic bottle that I don’t really need and water which I have at home for free.”  According to Forbes, Paiji was also inspired to reduce single-use plastics when she realized how much plastic is found in the environment today — she wanted her company to make the world a better place.  

Why This Matters: As the company boasts on its website, the future of clean has arrived.  And it looks a lot like the products of the past.  Who remembers when laundry detergent was a powder that came in a box? Maybe we can break free of our plastic addiction with smart new products like this one that can be delivered right to your doorstep.  Or someday many more products will be sold this way in your local market.  We agree with Paiji who believes that less plastic is not just a passing trend, but a lifestyle that is here to stay.  I (Monica) will let you know how well these work — I got my Clean Up Kit as a mother’s day gift!

H/T to Mike and Courtney — thanks, guys!

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