I have been lucky to grow up in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Miami is the only metropolitan area in the United States that borders two national parks, namely the Everglades and Biscayne Bay—one is the largest subtropical wilderness in North America and the other a watery wonderland of mangrove islands and coral reefs teaming with life. You might mistake my community for an urban paradise if it were not also ground zero for global warming and sea level rise, where high tides are already submerging some streets and where ferocious hurricanes like Irma and Maria crank up the collective anxiety of most Floridians. This should explain my recurring dream of taking a glass bottom boat tour of the places where I grew up.
Aside from living with the very palpable and dire threat of global warming, I have observed profound changes to the natural environment as the region has developed at a breakneck pace. Everything we cherish seems to be shrinking, while pollution is accumulating, most visibly apparent in the form of plastic waste along our shoreline, which will remain in the environment for centuries to come. According to the New Plastics Economy report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, each year we produce 78 million tons of plastic packaging waste globally and only 14% will get recycled. Some 25 million tons of this plastic waste, or 32%, will “leak” into the natural environment, including 5 million tons, or about 1 dump truck per minute, that will enter our oceans and waterways. If nothing is done to address the problem, the rate increases to 4 dump trucks per minute by 2050, taking the ratio of fish to plastic from 1:5 to 1:1. Let that sink in for a minute—there will soon be more plastic in the ocean than fish if we don’t act! Having spent most of our careers supplying packaging materials (not to mention chemicals and ingredients) to the consumer packaged goods industry, and effectively serving as enablers of the problem of plastic packaging waste, my brothers and I decided it was time to find a solution.
We launched Cleanyst in 2015 to radically reduce plastic packaging waste and carbon dioxide emissions from home and body care products. By harnessing the power of concentrates and reusable packaging, we believe our mixing platform can make a difference before it is too late. We hope you’ll join us and do your part to help ensure that our children and grandchildren get to enjoy the same wonders of the natural environment that continue to inspire and sustain us. Let’s mix it up—for a cleaner home, body and planet!
Nick Gunia, Co-Founder