Making single-use history with RePlated
RePlated create reusable food containers designed for people who want to enjoy takeaway without single-use plastic. The containers are designed and made in Australia from recycled materials, and each lunchbox saves eight soft drink bottles from landfill.
Watch the conversation here or read the interview below.
Naomi: The way that we pitch the business is that it's takeaway without the side of guilt. We want you to be able to do those things that you always do, and to feel better about the things you need to do. I'm really excited about the Best for the World nomination. We've only just become a B Corp, and we're a pretty new business. We are a business that's circular by design. From the materials that we chose to make our reusable containers with, all the way through to the end of life; we're really conscious at every stage of the materials, of their provenance, of their use, and what I like to call their 'next life.'
We use recycled materials predominantly in our containers. Through the use of the containers, reuse is probably the most important part of the reduce, reuse, recycle triangle. So really, the actual purpose of the product - it really sits very beautifully in terms of waste reduction. At the end of their life, eventually the containers will either get worn, or they might get a little bit chipped. We offer our customers a service where they can send the containers back to us or we pick them up from them, and we turn them into new products and give them a new life.
B Lab: Tell us a little bit about how you got started. Did you see a gap in the market? Was there something that you wanted to fill or a need that you were trying to fill for yourself?
Naomi: I've been a waste warrior my whole life. I just realised that I wanted to do something a lot more impactful.
B Lab: What about the trends you've seen since you've started? Have you seen that people are more receptive to taking up those reusable containers and that it's easier to make that sale?
Naomi: The market has shifted a lot. A lot of people, individuals, and a lot of businesses really want to make that change. I'm starting to see in annual reports for major corporations where they're actually making statements like we will remove single-use from our buildings, from our offices, our workplaces. That's just an incredible thing to see. I think that we'll see that start to accelerate over the next 12 to 18 months.
B Lab: Have you seen a change in consumer behavior around reusable containers?
Naomi: We've seen an enormous change from the first lockdown. Everything was so uncertain, we didn't know very much about the virus and how it spreads. The idea that people just wanted to have disposable and the need we had to also support our small local businesses. I really felt that was the time and the place for the single-use.
What's incredible is the resurgence of reusables since then - it's just an incredible difference. Now we understand the virus more, and for a lot of people, single-use is a line that they don't want to have to cross again.
B Lab: Do you look at the impact of your products in how they divert waste from landfill? Are you tracking and measuring that?
Naomi: Because we are new it's definitely one of the areas we need to improve on. We're able to estimate the impact that we have, but we can't always quantify it. One of the things that we're working on this year is systems and digital tracking. It might not be perfect, but it will certainly give us some robustness around the impact that we're able to quantify.
B Lab: What do you want to see become the new normal?
Naomi: That's easy. We want to make single-use history, no question. That's our vision. I want it to be something that we don't even think about anymore in the same way we didn't think about single-use before. That it's just something that we do and something that we're able to do easily.
Congratulations to RePlated for being recognised as Best for the World in Environment. See the rest of the Best for the World 2021 lists here.
Interviews have been edited for clarity and length.