single-use plastics

Zero Co founder and CEO, Mike Smith. Source: Supplied

My Biggest Mistake
Nicole Lutze

My biggest mistake: Mike Smith, founder of Zero Co

Authors
Nicole Lutze
4 minute Read

Mike Smith launched Zero Co to solve the world’s single-use plastic pollution problem, and Aussie households leapt at the opportunity to support the brand.

Zero Co’s 2019 Kickstarter campaign raised around $740,000 — making it the highest-funded Kickstarter of the year. Then, Zero Co broke the 2021 equity crowdfunding record by raising $5 million in six hours when they invited customers to become shareholders.

But among all that success, Smith realised his greatest opportunity was now his biggest problem: how do you solve one of the biggest environmental problems on earth?

The mistake

Providing a consumable, affordable solution to the problem of single-use plastic isn’t an easy task. Serious considerations must be made to ensure the fix doesn’t become part of the problem. So Smith designed Zero Co on a circular model to use existing plastics, recycle them, and ensure an end-of-life solution to post-consumer waste.

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