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Becoming Sustainable with Founder of Zero Co Mike Smith

by Rebecca Veksler on October 26, 2021

From little things big things grow...

Zero Co founder Mike Smith came up with an idea to tackle the global plastic problem while trekking and camping his way through some of the most far-flung corners of the planet with his girlfriend Alyssa.

1. Tell us about Zero Co - What is your mission!
Zero Co is on audacious mission to rid the world of single-use plastic and clean up the trash junking up our oceans.

The average Aussie uses 3,358 single-use plastic bottles (of the 10 products we make) in their lifetime. That’s 85,158,880,000 bottles across all Aussies alive today. 85 BILLION. We want Aussies to help us make that zero.

2. Tell us about Zero Co products, why is it so special?
We make single-use plastic free home-cleaning and personal-care products (think body wash, laundry liquid etc), that are palm oil free, vegan, grey water safe and made from plant-based formulas here in Australia. We deliver our products carbon negative, with refill pouches that customers empty into our Forever Bottles - made from ocean, beach and landfill (OBL) waste collected from clean ups which we fund around Australia!

Once the pouches are emptied, customers send them back to us in a complimentary replied paid satchel so we can clean, refill and reuse them over and over. It’s like the milkman re-imagined - a zero-waste, closed loop system to better the planet! We think thats pretty special.

3. What are some of Zero Co core values?
We have a handful of brand values that we live by everyday at Zero Co HQ. A couple of these include:


Being radically transparent. We’re living in a post-truth, greenwashed world, so radical transparency is the silver bullet of our times. We’ve got nothing to hide, so we try to win the hearts and minds of our community by putting it all on the table, always. Warts and all. 


Less talk. More rock. The world has enough people who talk about what they’re “gonna do”. At Zero Co, were doers. Our passion is infectious we want it to rally others to act, everyday.

4. Tell us your biggest learning with Zero Co when it comes to the environment & sustainability?
People want easy solutions to living more sustainably and doing their bit for the environment. So we know that we need to make the Zero Co experience as simple and seamless as possible for everyday Aussies to join our mission and tackle the single-use plastic problem at their place by starting with the products in their kitchen, laundry and bathrooms. 

To untrash the planet, we need to unit people from all walks of life. We’ll never do that by being “Preachy Pam”. We need to stay focused on solutions, not problems so we can unite and conquer.

5. How do you implement sustainability into your daily practise, what makes you a solmate?
I’m incredibly passionate about Zero Co’s mission and try to implement sustainable choices in my daily routine as much as possible. This means avoiding anything wrapped unnecessarily in plastics like fruit and veg, buying from sustainable and ethical brands that are minimising their carbon footprint, composting at home and recycling soft plastics to minimise my contribution to landfill. 

It’s important not to take yourself too seriously when tackling such a big, daunting problem. I’m on my own plastic journey like everyone else and I’m always learning!