Sonalie Figueiras, founder of Asia’s impact media platform Green Queen, is set to disrupt the sustainable packaging industry with world’s first global B2B marketplace for sourcing forever plastic-free products and materials.
SourceGreenPackaging.com went live in beta mode this week after raising an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round backed by several well-known sustainability veterans and industry leaders based across Asia-Pacific.
The platform is a global e-commerce B2B marketplace showcasing the most planet-friendly packaging products, initially kicking off with five suppliers from across the globe and around 300 products to test the software.
“Eventually we plan to have products for every geography to lower shipping impact,” Figueiras tells VIVAS.
The Hong Kong-based company’s aim is to help food companies and retail brands find sustainable packaging materials amid growing consumer demand for plastic-free options.
“The pandemic really brought home the need for solutions,” says Figueiras. “A recent study showed that takeaway F&B packaging—bags, bottles, containers and wrappers—makes up 44% of all the trash in our oceans. This feels unacceptable given there are so many innovative and planet-friendly solutions out there.”
Serial sustainability entrepreneur
Figueiras is passionate about all things sustainable. A serial entrepreneur, the Green Queen founder also created Ekowarehouse, the global B2B sourcing platform for certified organic products.
And, unlike many in the sustainability sector, she’s not afraid to embrace the truth about the devastating impact of animal agriculture on the planet. On learning this, three years ago Figueiras took the bold step of ‘veganizing’ her impact media platform Green Queen.
“We made the decision that we’d no longer cover seafood and meat and dairy,” she said in an interview on the Vegan Business Talk podcast.
“And that cost us advertisers, because we had a big niche as a place for people to come to find out where to get sustainable seafood. But as I learned more every day, I realized that actually, I don’t think I really believe there is sustainable seafood. I think all seafood is a serious problem. I don’t really think we should be eating beef at all. I don’t think that eggs are acceptable. So I couldn’t feel that way and then be promoting animal products anymore.”
A zero waster in her personal life, Figueiras joined forces with logistics veteran Luc des Vallieres, who shares the same commitment, to launch SourceGreenPackaging.com to help solve what they consider to be one of the biggest crises of their lifetimes.
“We both have kids and we are sickened to think of the scale of the plastic waste problem they will inherit,” says Figueiras. “We produce over 300 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, and less than 10% gets recycled. We have to act now.”