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Luntian’s innovation is its products, which are sustainable mailers that can be degraded in just less than 180 days when decomposed properly. This innovation solves the problem of plastic waste from the E-commerce industry that harm the environment.
For 1% by Lunas ang Tinig ng Animo (LUNTIAN), its innovation is the integration of technology into a product. The product functions as a mailer or packaging but has a unique feature: it is compostable. In just less than 180 days, the product degrades when decomposed properly. This is possible because the product is made of sustainable materials such as (1) PBAT (polybutylene adipate terephthalate) which is an active ingredient for composting as it is a fully biodegradable polymer; (2) PLA (polylactic acid) which are renewable feedstock, all-natural, and non-toxic; and (3) Cornstarch which is a fermented plant starch used as the inner layer of the mailer (the bubble wrap).
E-commerce became more prominent during the pandemic crisis. Due to the numerous deliveries, E-commerce led to a rapid increase in plastic waste since most of the mailers and delivery packaging are made of plastic. As the founders of Luntian were thinking of a product they could sell for their Thesis project, they came across the idea of battling the problems of plastic waste produced in the E-commerce industry. Moreover, they were inspired to innovate packaging that would be beneficial to both the consumers and the environment. This led them to coordinate with a supplier to integrate sustainable materials into mailers.
The founders and suppliers are the main stakeholders involved in the creation of the innovation, which is the product itself. The founders consist of Bachelor of Science (BS) - Entrepreneur students from De La Salle University (DLSU) - Manila. The founders are the ones who discuss the materials and features of the innovative product while the supplier is responsible for producing quality sustainable products.
1% by LUNTIAN's objective is to offer an eco-friendly packaging solution for the e-commerce sector, thereby reducing the usage of plastic. Their mission and vision are shared with other supporters of sustainability, as well as their partner communities, with whom they work closely to achieve their goals. They aim to achieve sustainable packaging, which will lead to a positive impact on the environment in the long run.
As the world is facing an urgent need to address environmental issues, it is crucial for individuals and businesses to take action toward creating a more sustainable future. Being a group of students pursuing a practicum or thesis project, Luntian was set on finding ways to contribute to this cause. The team had planned to focus on an idea related to the environment, but the pandemic made it infeasible. Initially, the concept of a Zero-waste Mart was the focus of the business. However, the team realized that they could reach a wider audience and have a greater impact by switching to an e-commerce platform. The inspiration for the innovation was addressing the growing concern of waste generation and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle. All members of the team have had experience in running an online business and realized that one of the common problems faced by sellers is the hassle of packing their products. Experienced in managing an online business, the team realized that there was a significant amount of waste being generated in the e-commerce industry. They recognized the opportunity to make a positive impact by offering sustainable products to consumers and promoting eco-friendly practices. By switching from a Zero-waste Mart concept to an e-commerce platform, they were able to offer a wider range of sustainable products and reach a broader audience. By making the shift, they were able to offer their products to a broader customer base without the limitations of a physical location. By developing a bubble mailer that is eco-friendly and user-friendly, they hoped to encourage more sellers to adopt sustainable practices in their businesses. Their solution promotes sustainability and ethical practices in the e-commerce industry and ultimately, towards creating a more sustainable future for all.
With the increasing consumer demand for sustainability, a lot of companies have followed suit; however, many have been using the movement for publicity and manipulating their consumers into believing that they prioritize sustainability, more commonly known as greenwashing. To ensure and concretize the impacts of such initiatives, they should touch on the three pillars of sustainability – economic/business, social, and environmental. These three pillars are interconnected and interdependent, and they must be addressed in a holistic manner to achieve genuine sustainability. Upon researching and interviewing the owners of Luntian, the researchers believe that the innovation has a significant impact since sustainability is at the core of its business operations and even beyond – personal.
Looking into its economic or business impact, the innovative product greatly contributed to their opportunity to earn and expand while being a responsible producer. The profit was the owners' motivation to sell more because they knew that their products had value to the environment. Despite finishing their practicum subject, they plan to continue their business operations outside the university. Currently, they are tapping into and encouraging online businesses to choose compostable packaging for deliveries by offering bulk or wholesale discounts, which leads to the social pillar. They acknowledge that they can not achieve their intended impact alone and require the participation of society, both sellers and buyers – hence, the explanation behind the "1%" in its brand name. The owners encourage everyone to be part of that 1% because their goal is, to quote: "one at a time... until we reach a hundred." They want to instill the value of doing one's part or responsibility no matter how big or small the positive impact is. With regard to its environmental sustainability, the innovation in itself has a direct impact on reducing pollution and plastic usage primarily because it is compostable within 180 days. The way they market themselves and teach viewers to raise awareness can indirectly impact the environment. They not only sell but also educate the consumers on how to properly use the innovation. They show a step-by-step process on the decomposition process via their social media accounts, acknowledging the fact that not everyone in the Philippines knows how to decompose and dispose of waste.
With this, the owners of Luntian believe that their initiative and innovation have made a positive impact on the environment in the short term as compostable products usually break down into non-toxic components. This means that under the right circumstances, these will not negatively affect the environment. Furthermore, Luntian has “brought value to the market and environment” by providing eco-friendly packaging to the e-commerce industry in order to combat pollution and the detrimental effects of plastic waste. Moving forward, the company aims to have more e-commerce businesses aligned with its goal of eliminating plastic by involving sustainability in their operations through packaging or any other way they can. On the other hand, Luntian also hopes to encourage more consumers to support sustainability in businesses while actively participating in responsible consumption and disposing of waste accordingly. Furthermore, the owners of Luntian aim to continue to innovate by identifying more ways of involving sustainability in businesses other than packaging to support their mission to have a stronger positive impact on the environment and society in the long term.
Lastly, Luntian’s impact on the environment and society through their product is evident through the recognition and positive feedback they have received from their customers, social media audience, and other media outlets like TV5 and PhilStar. This recognition also dictates that they have successfully raised awareness about the importance of combating plastic waste which they hope can inspire others to think outside the box for other ways they can involve and promote sustainability.
Just like any other business, Luntian aims to be profitable. Due to its innovation, the business was able to gain profit that exceeded the team's expectations. A lot of people were curious about their innovative product as there are only a handful of businesses that offer sustainable packaging in the Philippines. They were recognized by local media outlets and were even interviewed to share their journey. Moreover, they also participated in various bazaars within and outside of DLSU. Through these opportunities, Luntian was able to reach a wider audience. As more people learned about their sustainable alternative to plastic mailers, the number of order requests increased. They have also been receiving bulk orders from companies and online sellers.
Profit is an essential part of a business to be able to continue its purpose and advocacy. Luntian took into consideration how the pandemic increased the demand for online shopping, thus contributing to excessive plastic waste and pollution. With this, the founders of Luntian shared how their business is not just about profit as they aim to advocate for the environment. Aside from selling compostable and degradable mailers, Luntian also advocates for sustainability efforts through its marketing and speaker opportunities to raise environmental awareness. Just like their business name, 1% by Luntian Philippines, they aim to promote sustainability into practice one act at a time. Moreover, they have also been involved in various donation drives and outreach programs. One of which is their “Click for a Cause,” wherein 10% of the earnings from being a Shopee affiliate goes to buying school supplies and other materials for children.
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Lyanne Sy, Founder
Timothy Oscaris, Founder
Luntian’s innovation is its products, which are sustainable mailers that can be degraded in just less than 180 days when decomposed properly. This innovation solves the problem of plastic waste from the e-commerce industry that harm the environment.