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Eliminating Plastic Waste, One Lunch Bag At A Time

eliminating-plastic-waste,-one-lunch-bag-at-a-time

One day when Kirsten Quigly’s kids got home from school they shared with her a devastating statistic they heard in class that changed everything. 

They told her, 20 billion plastic sandwich bags were thrown out everyday at schools around the world. 

“I thought, Wow that’s a lot. What can we do to be a part of the solution instead of the statistic?” Kirsten says.

That powerful number inspired Kirsten to launch her company, Lunchskins.

 Lunchskins founder Kirsten Quigly holding a box of 50 paper sandwich bags.

Lunchskins founder Kirsten Quigly created plastic-free bags after learning how much plastic was being wasted packing lunches each day. Lunchskins

Today, Lunchskins sells a wide variety of products beyond its original biodegradable snack bag. It offers reusable, resealable, dishwasher and microwave safe plastic-free bags, straws, and kits. 

“As I was packing lunches day in and day out for a growing family of four kids, 20 lunches a week … I didn’t see any good options [or] replacements for a single-use plastic bag,” Kirsten says. 

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Determined to minimize plastic waste, Kirsten knew she had to create something the whole family would love and could easily afford. 

Lunchskins offers a regular deal of 50 disposable paper snack bags for only $4.49. 

“We wanted to make it simple for people to come on board and join the movement toward sustainability and [using] less plastic,” Kirsten says. 

Two Lunchskins compostable, unbleached snack bags with resealable stickers holding a sandwich and goldfish next to a Lunchskins biodegradable straw.
Lunchskins sells eight different kits with a variety of bags and its staple straws. Lunchskins

Kirsten and her team went above and beyond to ensure Lunchskins became a B Corp certified company. 

“B Corp stands for ‘benefit corporation.’ … It communicates to our customers and to our community that we are building a brand that is intentional about doing good for people and [the] planet, in addition to building a profitable business,” Kirsten says. 

A child enjoying her snack out of a compostable Lunchskins snack bag.
The fun and playful designs make eating your lunch from a Lunchskins compostable snack bag easy and enjoyable! Lunchskins

The certification committee takes into consideration the entire life cycle of a product, from the sourcing of materials on the front end to the impact a product leaves behind at the end of its life. Each and every step is taken into account. 

“The B Corp certification has been a big thrill, and a feather in our cap. We’re so happy to be in the company of the other B Corps,” Kirsten says. 

For companies just starting to consider their environmental impact, Kirsten recommends not getting “overwhelmed by the long laundry list of things you can do. Just focus on what is meaningful to you and your product, and how you can best communicate that to your customer.”

Tune in to the full Shopify Masters episode to learn more about sustainable business certifications and how Kirsten and the team at Lunchskins continue to innovate and make plastic-free products anyone can use. 

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This originally appeared on Shopify and is made available here to cast a wider net of discovery.

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