New Zealand’s Better Packaging Co., an innovative packaging company behind the recent plastic poop sculpture on Bondi Beach in Sydney highlighting the extraordinary volume of plastic waste entering oceans, has secured $5 million in a Series A investment.
The company said the funding will be applied to significantly grow its environmental impact by promoting its world-first range of POLLAST!C packaging and continuing its expansion globally, particularly in the US.
The funding round was led by New Zealand fund, Even Capital, joined by a selection of investors ranging from Even’s sister fund the Clare Foundation, to family offices, impact-focused funds, Katapult – a venture capital company based in Norway, and Elemental Excelerator from the US.
The company said investors were attracted by its expertise in developing and finding markets for regenerative packaging solutions and ability to scale equitable, market-driven solutions to climate change.
Better Packaging Co. co-founder Rebecca Percasky is thrilled with this capital injection, as it will greatly enhance the company’s global environmental vision.
“As the only female-founded, funded and focused growth stage venture capital fund in Aotearoa, with values that align well with ours, Even Capital was a natural fit,” Percasky said.
Even Capital managing partner and co-founder Sarah Park said she believes the Better Packaging Co. team, helmed by co-founders Kate Bezar and Percasky, has exhibited phenomenal drive and passion in its ongoing mission to challenge the status quo by proving that packaging can be a vehicle for positive impact on the environment.
“The combination of its unique solution in POLLAST!C, plus the passion dedication and determination of founders like Kate and Rebecca, is exactly what we look for in an investment. We are excited to see the positive ripple effect that Better Packaging Co. will have globally, for generations to come,” Park said.
It is the first time Katapult has invested in a New Zealand company, but Katapult Ocean CEO Jonas Skattum Svegaarden described Better Packaging Co. as a great fit for its portfolio of companies that “simultaneously represents the vanguard of impact ocean technology and the greatest opportunity for investment”.
POLLAST!C is a packaging material developed by Better Packaging Co. made from 100 per cent recycled ocean bound plastic pollution that has been rescued from coastal communities throughout Southeast Asia.
In addition to assisting in the removal of harmful plastics from nature, Bezar said POLLAST!C also serves to provide a consistent source of income to disadvantaged local communities. Better Packaging Co. makes this material into mailing satchels, poly garment bags, pallet wraps and hygiene liners for swimwear.
Bezar said, “Wherever you see flexible plastic film is the potential for a POLLAST!C alternative”.
In four years, Better Packaging Co.’s determination to find better packaging solutions has resulted in the collection of over a million kilograms of ocean bound plastic from the environment, saved the equivalent of 2.6 million kilograms of GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions by substituting virgin plastic packaging with POLLAST!C alternatives for customers, and by selling over 300 million bags to over 20,000 customers worldwide.
Bezar added that Better Packaging Co. intends to further expand its offshore presence which has always accounted for over 90 per cent of the company’s revenue.
Currently its international customer roster includes Aramex, Toyota, Bisley Workwear, The Levy Group, Assembly Label, Zip Water, and Boardriders Group.
“With a team already based in Asia, the US, South America and New Zealand to support distribution hubs in the UK, US, Australia, China, the EU and New Zealand, the company is well placed to pursue our aggressive offshore expansion plans,” Bezar said.
“Our mission is to provide packaging solutions that make a positive impact on the planet and its people. Packaging can be the hero – it can contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – and be fit for purpose too.”