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Product Packaging with a Purpose, with Lindsey McCoy, Plaine Products

Plaine Products helps reduce single-use plastics by producing natural, vegan shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in returnable, reusable containers.

Lindsey McCoy, Plaine Products

Lindsey McCoy, Plaine Products

In 2013, Lindsey McCoy was living in the Bahamas and running a non-profit called Save the Bays. “I had zero interest in going into business,” she told me. “I was going to save the world.”

As she explored the islands, she noticed the impact of single use plastics. “Without regular trash pick up, you see those water bottles, flip flops and plastic bags in the water and along the side of the road,” she explains. “To me, single-use plastics is one of those things that once you start to notice it, you realize it’s everywhere.”

Lindsey tried to reduce her personal use of plastic. But she found it difficult to find plastic-free alternatives to shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. “It began to occur to me that there was a way to solve this by going outside of the non-profit community Providing a product might be a better solution.”

When she returned to the United States in 2015, she and her sister, Alison Webster, went to work on the problem. Together, they formed Plaine Products. Plaine Products produces natural, vegan shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in returnable, refillable, reusable containers. When a customer empties a Plaine Products bottle, they order a replacement. They place the empty bottle in the box and return it to Plaine Products to be sanitized and refilled.

It took Lindsey and Alison almost two years from idea to product launch. They had to find a contract manufacturer who produces natural products. They needed to work with someone who would be willing to refill bottles. And, they had to figure out their non-plastic packaging. At first, they tried steel containers, but the containers rusted. When they switched to aluminum containers, they found that the packaging not only lasted, but it was lighter to ship, saving costs. And, they had to figure out how to explain the concept of reusable packaging.

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Lindsey McCoy

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Once you start to notice it, you realize it’s everywhere.” Lindsey McCoy, @PlaineProducts”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“I’m lazy. I’m busy. Making shampoo in my tub was not going to work for me.” Lindsey McCoy, @PlaineProducts”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Our addiction to convenience and disposability seems only to be growing.” Lindsey McCoy, @PlaineProducts”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.” Lindsey McCoy, @PlaineProducts”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“As far as we know, no one is doing this.” Lindsey McCoy, @PlaineProducts”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“We were doing something totally different, and that made it even harder.” Lindsey McCoy, @PlaineProducts”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“We tried some terrible products.” Lindsey McCoy, @PlaineProducts”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“You can be small and still mighty.” Lindsey McCoy, @PlaineProducts”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Progress not perfection.” Lindsey McCoy, @PlaineProducts”]

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