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Why SwapBox? Why Reusable Packaging? Our Start-Up Thesis

Our planet is in crisis. Global warming, mass extinction, food insecurity, poverty, and more. One of them is the disposable packaging crisis, such as the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Countless plastic bottles and packaging are floating in the Pacific Ocean, spanning 1.6 million square kilometres— an area twice the size of Texas and three times the size of France (Scott Snowden, Forbes). Since humans began mass-producing plastic, 4.9 billion tons (78%) of it has ended up in landfills or on our land and in our oceans. Just 600 million tons (9%) has been recycled. Further, packaging waste makes up a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions, 2.5 billion tons to be exact.

Image description: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch covers an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometres, an area twice the size of Texas or three times the size of France (Source: Forbes, 2019).

Today, packaging is used for minutes but pollutes our planet for generations. It is estimated that each citizen of the EU throws away between 170 to 250 KG of packaging each year. All packaging, regardless of material, plastic or cardboard requires resources, energy, and waste treatment, which are heavy burdens on our ecosystems. As the popular phrase goes, “there is no planet B”. Our Earth has a finite amount of natural resources and space and that is why we must switch from a throwaway culture to one of reuse.

At SwapBox, we have an ambitious goal: to inspire and empower everyone to fight packaging waste. We believe sustainability should not cost extra, not to users, businesses, or cities. SwapBox provides restaurants with cost-competitive, reusable packaging that is free to use for customers through the SwapBox mobile app. Once finished, they return the SwapBox packaging to any partner restaurant. It is then collected, cleaned, and redistributed for reuse. Each SwapBox has been tested for reuse up to 500 times, saving waste and CO2. At the end of the useful life, each SwapBox is recycled and remade into new SwapBoxes. Through this closed-loop system, SwapBox aims to create a zero-waste culture.

Since starting 6 months ago:

  • We have saved more than 5000 packages, equivalent to 690kg of waste.

  • We have connected over 1500 eco-conscious consumers with over 100 businesses.

  • We are setting up a top-notch cleaning facility to set the industry safety standard and allow us to service high volumes at the highest quality.

With our revolutionary zero-waste packaging system, we are actively addressing three of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production, and Goal 13 - Climate Action.

We hope that in 5 years, reusable packaging will be the norm and no longer the exception. But, we cannot do this alone, we need your help. As a consumer, we hope you will use SwapBox if it is available in your city, show your support by following us on Instagram, and start initiatives to combat packaging waste in your communities (we’re here to help). As a business, reach out to us and become a SwapBox partner, it’s free to join, and you only pay for each SwapBox used.

The bigger we get, the greater difference we will make. And we are just getting started.

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