How This New Personal Care Company Plans to Reduce Plastic Waste

By Humankind features containers that are refillable and guaranteed for life.

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(Linda Vostrovska /

By Humankind is an innovative new company that can help you save our planet from single-use plastic. The startup calculated that in a year using just the first three trial products, the average American consumer can keep an impressive five pounds of plastic out of the environment.

Serial entrepreneur Brian Bushell was alerted first hand to the issue of plastic waste on a Scuba vacation he took to in 2017. "During a trip to Thailand, I was shocked by how much plastic waste I saw floating in the water, in places I imagined would be untouched. Then when I looked again at the products on my bathroom counter and realized my everyday habits were contributing to this growing global crisis, I decided it's time for us to do better," Bushell wrote in a company press release.

He started researching plastic waste and found that a third of all single-use plastics in landfills came from personal care items. He and co-founder Joshua Goodman realized that eliminating personal care plastic would be a big game changer, so they started working on By Humankind.

Unlike Loop, a new company that ditched plastic and requires purchasers to return reusable containers that are cleaned and refilled, the partners thought that it made more sense for people to keep the original containers and just receive refills.

“We didn’t think that customers were going to want to do the work to send it back,” Bushell told Fast Company. “And there’s also an additional cost in that reverse or return logistics.”

The reusable containers are plastic, but the founders believe that not all plastic is completely bad but has to be designed properly so it doesn't land in landfills and is reused and recycled instead.

The company is starting with three product lines. There is an all-natural deodorant that is formulated to kill bacteria, and refills called Kindfills come in paper pods that fit into the original container. A Mouthwash comes in single-portion tablets that the user will drop into water and a bar shampoo comes wrapped in paper instead of plastic.

All of the personal care products are made with clean, ethically sourced materials. The website stresses that the startup uses only ingredients that are kind to your body and that all of its formulas outperform the competition.

Customized subscriptions are available to help you stay stocked up on the items or you can purchase them a la carte. All shipping is free, and all of the shipping supplies are 100 percent combustible made of bamboo fiber-based materials.

The company plans on expanding its product line. “Our whole thesis is, what if you could help save the world from single-use plastic just by getting ready in the morning?” Bushell told Fast Company. “And so, anything that’s within that morning routine is within our target."

Bushell summed it up in a company press release: "By Humankind is our way of making it easy for anyone to make a difference without sacrificing the convenience we've come to expect in our daily lives. When enough of us join in, together we'll take a giant step forward for our planet."

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