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October 2018

Safer Made invests in Repurpose

We joined Repurpose’s Series A financing round in October. Repurpose is the leading brand of environmentally conscious single use items (plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, straws, and garbage bags) in more than 6,000 retail locations in US. All its products are certified compostable and made of waste fiber and / or bio-based plastic. Repurpose was founded in 2010 by Lauren Gropper, an environmental designer and consultant. We look forward to work with the team at Repurpose as they continue to launch products that reduce the use of hazardous and polluting materials.

Plastic Draws the Shortest Straw!

Companies, governments, and other organizations are extending the scope of their actions to deal with plastic pollution from single item bans such as straws or bags to more comprehensive policies and goals.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched “A Line in the Sand”, an initiative to get companies, governments and institutions to commit to the elimination of plastic waste and pollution. More than 290 companies and organizations have joined, including some of the largest consumer goods companies and retailers such as SC Johnson, Unilever, and Target.

Individual companies are also announcing goals and commitments for reducing plastic use. For example Sodexho recently announced that it plans to eliminate bags and stirrers by 2019, polystyrene by 2025, and shift straws to a “by request” item.

The European Parliament also recently voted for a ban on a range of single-use plastics.

We believe these comprehensive approaches to single use plastic are more effective than single item bans such as straw or plastic bag bans. These changes will increase the demand for better materials, and create opportunities for companies that can offer safer, more sustainable alternatives with similar cost and performance.

Food Packaging Innovation

We are working with several partners on a report that will outline innovation opportunities in safer food packaging. The report will examine over three hundred chemicals of concern currently used in food contact packaging, understand their function, and highlight over 100 companies and technologies working to make food packaging safer for people and the natural world.

Flame Retardants

In the last couple of months we have seen bipartisan regulatory initiatives aimed at eliminating harmful halogenated flame retardants. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will phase out halogenated flame retardants from consumer products in California. The House also passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 that includes a bipartisan amendment (introduced by Dan Kildee, Democrat, Michigan) that will allow commercial airports to use alternatives to halogenated flame retardants.

Amazon, RiteAid Announce Chemicals Policies

Amazon announced their first public chemicals policy. The new policy restricts chemicals of concern in Amazon’s baby, household cleaning, personal care, and beauty private branded products sold in the United States.

RiteAid also announced a new chemicals policy, expanding its own brands restricted substance list from 8 to 69 chemicals.


Allbirds, a San Francisco-based footwear startup that uses wool and other natural materials, has raised $50 million.

Bellwether Coffee, a Berkeley, Ca.-based coffee maker behind a zero-emissions commercial roaster and online coffee bean marketplace, raised $10 million.

Beyond Meat, a VC backed plant protein startup that raised over $100 million so far, announced plans for an IPO.

Geltor, a San Leandro, Ca.-based developer of animal-and GMO-free proteins, including collagen for vegan leather, raised $18.2 million.

Indigo, a Boston-based developer of microbial products that increase crop yields, has raised $250 million.

MycoTechnology, making a mycelium based bitter blocking ingredient that can reduce the use of sugar raised $23.5 million.

Once Upon a Farm, an organic baby food line co-founded by actress Jennifer Garner, raised $20 million for expansion.

Public Goods, a New York-based direct-to-consumer brand selling quality cleaning and personal care products with natural and safe formulations, has raised $3 million.

Safetraces, a food safety and traceability technology startup raised $16.5 million.

Silk Inc., a Boston-based synthetic biology company creating biodegradable alternatives to the petrochemicals found in beauty products, medical devices, and fabrics, has raised $30 million.

Also Noted

  • Bitcoin's annual carbon footprint is equal to one million transatlantic flights.

  • FDA bans 7 food flavoring chemicals.

  • Walmart joins other retailers in banning methylene chloride based solvents.

  • Good news about the Barrier Reef, and a reminder to use reef safe sunscreen.

  • Green Chemistry Challenge Awards.

  • Marty’s recent presentation at the National Academy.

Holiday Shopping Suggestions

The holiday season is here. We come across products we like every day and here are a few gift/party supplies ideas:

  • Seed Phytonutrients (in Ecologic Brands bottles) – personal care from seeds.

  • Defunkify it with Defunkify – cleaning products designed for workout gear.

  • Ski or surf everyday? All Good under the sun! – sun-screens, chap sticks, and other skin protectors.

  • LARQ, the final frontier – Deanna Troi’s favorite self-cleaning reusable water bottle.

  • Loli Beauty – mix your own skin magic potions from organic ingredients.

  • Get a subscription to Public Goods – good cleaning and personal care products.

  • Wool & Prince – 100% wool dress shirts. Adrian loves them.

  • Activeclean, Olikalife – hand sanitizers we like.

  • Coyuchi – organic linens.

  • Thrive – for the skin in the game.

  • Indigenous – sustainable fashion.

  • AllBirds – natural, dorky, comfy shoes everybody wants right now.

  • Stasher – reusable silicone zip lock bags.

  • Finally, if you are going to party, party with (Re)purpose plates and cups.


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