Zero Plastic Waste for Home and Healthcare Products

Zero Plastic Waste for Home and Healthcare Products

La Quemisterie

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

La Quemisterie is a business dedicated to selling home and healthcare products for everyone with reused plastic packaging. The company has three product lines: the Maison for home cleaning, Blancherie for fabric care and cleaning, and the Beaute for hand protection and cleaning. They also offer a line of eco-accessories.

To reduce packaging waste, they developed a brand, "Le Vrac station," which provides a refilling station for their products.

They sell both online and in two street stores.

Authors

Constanza Maria Carrillo

Constanza Maria Carrillo

Florencia Martinon

Florencia Martinon

Marisol Sarubbi

Marisol Sarubbi

School

Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina

Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina

Professor

Aleandra Scafati

Aleandra Scafati

Innovation

La Quemisterie developed a system to reduce packaging in home and healthcare products, where the packaging normally plays an important role in health issues. To secure traceability, the clients have to buy a plastic container from the company only once for their first purchase, and then that same container is reused for refills. The company developed a refilling station, called Le Vrac, that is an automatic dispensing system that facilitates self-service for those containers.

Zero Plastic Waste for Home and Healthcare Products

Graciela, Inés and Daniela, creators of La Quemisterie . Source: Iglesias, Eugenia. (28 de agosto de 2020). Fabrican productos de limpieza, los venden en botellas reutilizables y van a facturar $ 5 millones. El Cronista. https://www.cronista.com/apertura-negocio/emprendedores/Fabrican-productos-de-limpieza-los-venden-en-botellas-reutilizables-y-van-a-facturar--5-millones-20200826-0006.html

Inspiration

La Quemisterie's idea was born in 2014, "due to the special interest that I have to create a solution for plastic waste," Graciela, one of the founders, told us. She joined forces with two friends, Daniela and Inés, that also were concerned with waste generation and wanted to do something about it. So in 2016, the enterprise was born with the inauguration of its first store.

"La Quemisterie was created with the intent of being a business with a positive impact on the environment and society," according to Graciela. The company's goal is to sell the most sustainable products while reducing waste, specifically plastic.

Overall impact

In line with reducing waste, especially plastic, the entrepreneurs detected that what creates the problem is the indiscriminate use of plastic, so they decided not to eliminate it but to provide an option where it was possible to combine its safety and durability while reducing its use. With this in mind, they decided that the packaging of their products should be made of plastic, which has to be reused, and that is why they developed the refilling stations, Le Vrac. They calculated that plastic consumption is reduced 50% each time a container is reused. Today, 80% of La Quemisterie's customers use the refill system.

Business benefit

The Le Vrac refilling station required an initial investment of $1 million. They recovered the investment in the first year of operation. In 2019 they had a turnover of $3 million and in 2020 of $5 million.

Social and environmental benefit

To assess the company's environmental impact, La Quemisterie has annual goals, which are measured quarterly:

• Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: 60%.

• Renewable and natural sources for ingredients for their products: 50%

In the beginning, the entrepreneurs thought about making products 100% out of natural ingredients, but it was costly, and they considered that they were not going to achieve the impact they wanted. Over time, they improved the products to reduce the most dangerous chemical ingredients and are now continuing to look for better alternatives.

• Efficient energy consumption: 50% reduction in electricity consumption. Using 100% recyclable LED technology.

• Waste: 60% reduction of plastics found in the client's waste.

For this goal, they measured how many bottles versus refills are sold.

In terms of social impacts, La Quemisterie tries to sell sustainable products for responsible consumers. Most products are chemical-free, PETA certified (no animal origin), and biodegradable. They also try to educate the consumers, so they signed into the "Climate Alliance," where they participate in educational and awareness campaigns. Finally, they support other entrepreneurs by having a "Green Pages" section on their website to advertise ventures aligned with their values.

Interviews

Graciela Oblitas, Cocreator of La Quemisterie

Daniela Nobili, Cocreator of La Quemisterie

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La Quemisterie

La Quemisterie

Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, AR

Business Website: https://www.laquemisterie.com/

Year Founded: 2016

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

"La Quemisterie" is a business dedicated to selling home and healthcare products for conscious consumers by reusing plastic packaging.