I had the opportunity to speak with Meghan Beard, the President and Co-Founder of Earth Recovery, which creates eco-friendly cleaning products. Meghan’s passion for environmentalism is not just noble; she is doing something about it by selling and using naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients and Earth-friendly materials. Meghan’s products can be safely introduced into your home and reintroduced back to the Earth. By doing this, she believes that small-scale actions will lead to large-scale change. Meghan’s husband, Tom grew up in Southold and has a sister and family that live in Southampton. The launch of his company with co-founder Tom Galati not only creates a practical solution to a simple problem but also raises awareness of the problem of single-use plastics and their impact on the environment.
Do you think we will ever get away from single-use plastics?
The reality is it will take at least 10+ years. There are many purposeful start-ups like Earth Recovery that are enabling conversation, education, and behavior change. The larger manufacturers are getting on board, but it’s like turning an aircraft carrier in the ocean. It takes time. We saw the pandemic as a catalyst for change, but in reality, the pandemic forced an increase in the production and use of single-use plastics. From disposable masks to increased use of single-use plastic disinfectant bottles, more virgin (petroleum-based) plastics were manufactured. However, we are exiting from the storm of the pandemic, and we believe there has been a seismic shift in belief systems, and attention to the health of the Earth, our homes, families and bodies. Each time a consumer goes to the cleaning aisle at the grocery store, we ask that they consider buying a concentrate equivalent. There is no reason ever to buy a single-use bottle.
What is in the product?
Our first product is our All-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate. We believe what is inside is as important as the packaging and how it’s delivered to the customer. We look at every detail. Every aspect of the product is critically important to the experience and mission of the brand. First and foremost, we wanted to develop a plant-derived, naturally fragranced performance cleaner for everyday use.
Our base formula was developed over three years with a bench of advisors in Europe, Australia, and the US following rigorous European standards. 98% of our core ingredients are naturally plant-derived, with a cleaning booster that is part of Safer Choice and Cleangredients, approved by the EPA. The EPA created the Safer Choice list of ingredients to help consumers identify cleaning products that are safer for you, your family, and the environment. We were fortunate to partner with one of the top fragrance houses in the world to develop a best-in-class aroma profile. This custom Bergamot Cedar 100% natural fragrance formulation consists of nine essential oils (Bergamot, Orange, Lemon, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Rose, Cedarwood, Vetiver, and Patchouli). It delivers a lasting aroma that is unmatched in the industry. All are non-toxic and non-synthetic. The formula is 100% biodegradable.
There are no sulfates, phosphates, parabens, synthetic dyes, ammonia, chlorine, bleach, phthalates, or formaldehyde. And we do not test on animals ever.
What are some of the problems with single-use plastics?
Only 9% of all the plastic that can be recycled is actually recycled. Many manufacturers are not using 100% recycled plastic bottles, and they can. Earth Recovery decided early on to make our bottles from 100% Ocean Bound Plastic. It’s plastic that has been collected within 50 kilometers of a coastline or waterway. Just as important as plastic clean-up operations in the oceans, we must stop it before it gets in.
Single-use plastics increase the burden of plastics not getting recycled, being combusted, or placed in landfills. Fossil fuels are required to make virgin plastic single-use bottles.
At Earth Recovery, we are taking action against plastic pollution and single-use plastic by removing Ocean Bound Plastic from the environment and repurposing it in our bottles. Our plastic raw material is collected in Mexico. Each purchase from Earth Recovery is uplifting communities without formal waste management systems.
Plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris. As stated by Ocean Conservancy, “Every year, 11 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 200 million metric tons that currently circulate in our marine environments.”
Earth Recovery collaborates with several third parties along the supply chain. It starts with the community-based collection of plastic waste, which is then recycled and manufactured into our bottles. The waste-picking community collection centers have been assessed by Nest, an independent nonprofit organization. Nest provides a set of standards to assess ethical compliance in informal work environments. These standards prioritize workers’ rights and interests through fair wages and safe working conditions.
Are there any viable alternatives you see or is it all about using less?
One of our core missions is to use less. Earth Recovery offers an All-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate that provides 8x uses in one bottle. That means six months of cleaning, without the abuse of seven single-use bottles, if bought separately. It also provides significant savings over buying single-use bottles off the shelf that are mostly water. We do not ship water!
How has the reaction been to your product?
Our customers love everything about Earth Recovery. We are a purpose-driven company, and we will soon be offering a range of household cleaners, all concentrate. We are also developing a mineral-based, non-nano SPF personal care line that we are excited about.
Why are you passionate about this issue?
In late 2019, my husband and I watched Australia (my birthplace) burning, and then later, in the summer of 2020, the west coast of America was ablaze as well. It is imperative we care for our Earth, and action must start now. The market needed a brand and product that looked at every detail, from ingredients to packaging. We also wanted to create a brand that brought our customers along on our journey and made it theirs. Together, we can aid Earth’s journey to recovery.
You can purchase products directly though Earthrecovery.com