An Interview with
16 October 2019
Tell us about your background, and how you came to found your company?
Financial publisher and senior business manager with over 20 years experience working within the financial media industry in Hong Kong. Specialising in managing events and running bespoke customised data /survey research on various topics from M&A, PE/VC, equity and debt capital markets, funds management to general macro- and micro- financial economics.
My position allowed me to fly all over the region every month for 20 years allowing me to stay at some of the top hotels in the region.
I had an idea to one day be at the fore front tackling one of - if not the biggest problems in travel, hospitality globally - Our addiction to SINGLE-USE PLASTIC.
Just like the members here I’d spent years travelling for work and consuming disposable plastics at every stage - throwing away your water bottle at security just to buy another one straight after...hotels that put a tiny bar of soap inside a plastic wrap inside a cardboard box...the canapés at networking events that come with the lastest trendy plastic cocktail stick. Bathrooms stacked high with plastic mini bottles of shampoo and the ultimate single use plastic toothbrush - used once for an average of 6 mins and thrown away.
I also wanted stop blaming others like local governments for their lack of policies on environmental and sustainability bills and try to find the only viable solution.
Thats how I came to found bakbamboo.
bakbamboo, provides consultancy, sustainability services and supplier of customised, eco-friendly products at a wholesale level to hotels, resorts, aviation and beyond. Our products are carefully selected based on their environmental impact, with the ultimate goal to assist in the reduction of single-use plastics in these industries.
What is most important to you and your organization – mission, vision, or core values? Why?
bakbamboo, provides accessible sustainable alternative solutions to single-use plastics which are currently largely used in hospitality industry and beyond.
We are concerned about the legacy we are leaving behind to our children and the significant effect that single-use plastics (SUP) is having to our environment; littering our seas, infiltrating our food system and overflowing landfills.
The lives of our children and generations to come will be detrimentally affected if we don’t change our use of SUPs now.
Millions of tons of plastic bags, packaging along with other single-use items form over 40% of this waste leaking into the ocean which is mistaken by marine life for food and eventually leading to their death. We wanted to find a solution on how we could reduce this huge plastic waste taking a toll on our natural environment. With the belief that the foundation of our current and future generations should embrace alternative solutions and use materials that are kind to the environment.
These are a few the reasons and core values behind bakbamboo.
Can you explain briefly how your service(s)/product(s) works?
We primarily use bamboo items (such as toothbrushes, combs, razors etc) as well as other eco friendly options. We supply everything that is usually available in a hotel bathroom amenities kits - toothbrushes, comb, hairbrush, ear buds, make up pads except made from sustainable sourced bamboo. We also supply general hotel/F&B departments with straws, fork, spoon, knife, food containers, water/tea bottles, pens all made from Bamboo.
How has the industry been changing in recent years?
The problem is so huge that the random politician or/ and local governments who say they need to do more - isn't enough. There is no driver within large corporations (some of the biggest polluters) - so I would say we haven't even made a dent .
Let me ask you have you ever noticed we are surrounded by plastic. It’s in the single-use packaging we discard, the consumer goods that fill our stores, in our hotel bathrooms in the form of toothbrushes, combs, razors and in our clothing, which sheds microplastic fibers in the wash. In fact our “disposable” lifestyle estimates that around about 50% of plastic is used just once and thrown away and 40% of plastic found currently in oceans is in the form of Single-use Plastic items.What's more, unfortunately, plastic is so durable and practically indestructible that the EPA reports “every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” So the short answer is: The plastic pollution is not only growing into a crisis it is a global epidemic.
What makes you different from what’s currently available in the market?
We are unique from other hotel suppliers as we purely focus on providing environmentally sound products. We are a solution based consultancy business and work with our clients to provide eco friendly alternatives to single use plastic. Our range includes biodegradable (bamboo) toothbrushes, toothpaste (denttabs), bamboo combs and hair brushes, razors, bamboo fibre (reusable make up pads) and bamboo cotton buds, bamboo clothes hangers, pens, and amenity bags (made from bamboo fibre and recycled PET). We also can provide reusable bottles, bamboo straws etc.
All our products can be customised for our clients with customers company logo etched on the items. Our packaging is also 100% recyclable.
What does the future hold for your company?
The future is very bleak if we don't make the switch from using Single-use plastics to biodegradable, eco-friendly products. That said I believe bakbamboo is the first in HK and in Asia to have such a mission and vision to change attitudes, educate consumers and at a corporate level - eventually enabling and driving change from the corporate level to a viable future for all of us.