Vietnam-based sustainability firm EQUO raised $1.3 million in seed funding to create sugarcane-based options to single-use plastics. EQUO, based in 2020 by Marina Tran-Vu, affords plastic-free and compostable merchandise made from espresso, coconut and sugarcane.

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Four packages on edible forks and spoons in colors of brown, purple, yellow and orange

The distinction with EQUO? Creating sustainable merchandise which might be handy and require no change in life-style to undertake an eco-friendly various. The startup was named considered one of 9 winners of the UNOPS S3i Innovation Center Sweden Global Challenge. EQUO was additionally a prime 18 finalist within the Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge by the UNDP.

Related: Silvr affords good various to single-use utensils

A blonde-haired Asian woman sits on a grey couch. The photo next to her is the EQUO products against a pink background that reads "100% plastic free"

EQUO merchandise can be found on Amazon, on their web site and several other retailers. The funds from the seed spherical increase might be used to increase the product line, develop the technical capabilities to scale the enterprise rapidly and to extend model consciousness.

An orange-yellow background with a spoon resting on a plate of cake with the words "Wooden Spoon" and "100% plastic free"

“The finest means for us to make an influence is to not recycle or upcycle single-use plastic, however to cease its manufacturing altogether,” mentioned Tran-Vu. “EQUO will assist try this by providing merchandise constructed from various supplies, however doing it in a enjoyable and approachable means that will get shoppers, companies and massive companies to concentrate.”

As a sole feminine founder, Tran-Vu is a part of a small proportion of startups based solely by ladies who obtained enterprise capital or non-public funding.

A hand holding paper wrapped straws

“Our imaginative and prescient is to interchange all single-use plastic on the planet. This isn’t simply concerning the seen plastic we see in our atmosphere, but in addition concerning the downstream results of microplastics,” mentioned Tran-Vu. “We are excited concerning the new merchandise we’re delivering this yr to indicate the world all of the issues we are able to do with out single-use plastic and (in some circumstances) paper.”

The firm first launched into the market with consuming straws. Now, they introduced a line of utensils made from espresso and wooden, sugarcane meals containers and compostable baggage.


Images by way of EQUO

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