Did you know that about 2 million plastic bags are used every minute worldwide? Grace MacLeod, founder of Gaia & Company is well-aware of the impacts that conventional plastic has on our oceans and planet. That was the motivation to start her company that provides planet-friendly alternatives for the home. Gaia & Company currently sells GMO-free, 100% compostable trash bags in various sizes, as well durable, compostable plastic gloves in sizes small, medium and large. These products will not become microplastics because they are not mixed with harmful polymers, and when they are fully degraded, they become healthy soil that can pull carbon from the atmosphere.
Gaia & Company is the wonderful supplier of trash bags and gloves for Diving In's community, shoreline cleanups. The next of which is happening on July 21st in Ambleside, West Vancouver.
With Gaia & Company's motto, ‘let this be the first and last piece of plastic you put in your trash,’ Grace invites her community to make a commitment that ensures our eco-system does not continue to be destroyed by traditional single-use, soft plastics.
Here is her story:
"For me, it all started at the end of 2019, we had just finished rafting the Grand Canyon over the course of 16 days. The pristine wilderness had been virtually untouched and those who ventured there packed everything in and everything out. We left no trace. The trip was bare bones, we had our tents and our food and that’s all we needed to survive, and most importantly we diligently separated our recyclables and hoped they’d be disposed of properly at the other end."
When Grace returned to Canada, she started reading books on canyon preservation and the various ways in which humans damage earth for personal gain. She then made it her mission to start protecting our natural wonders - she knew that life on earth relies on our planet's health.
"I also started noticing all the soft plastic that was being thrown in the trash and not recycled - we really do consume and throw away a lot of soft plastic. I soon began pulling soft plastics from my friends’ trash, taking it home, cleaning it and popping it in our soft plastic recycling. There is no denying that our waterways and ocean are being choked out by plastic garbage; it has become my mission everyday to ensure we can divert plastic from our oceans, reduce our consumption of plastics, and instead use healthier sustainable plastics or plastic alternatives. We are now at a precipice with climate change creating extreme heat, winds, landslides and fires. We need our ocean and waterways clean now more than ever. And, we are rapidly killing marine life at a scale never seen before in history. Our oceans have become a dumping ground and near resemble a factory farm. The ocean is the largest carbon sink in the world - if it dies, we die. I know that seems extreme to say but we need some ‘sea change’ and I am committed to this."
In terms of Gaia & Company's future projects, Grace plans to expand into online sales as well as to open a return-it system that collects plastic items from customers that may not be recycled by local towns:
"We will be starting online sales soon with the intent that every customer keep their box and return their plastic items to us, those being toothbrushes, razors, toothpaste tubes, straws, balloons, ribbon, any soft plastic that their local town does not collect. We will get it to the right recycler so it does not end up in the landfill and carried by bird or wind to our waterways."
Gaia & Company's products are available at participating Nesters stores, Farmers on Duty and Be Clean Naturally, and are soon to be at WeFill.
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