How a Vision Turned Into Reality: Little Green Panda Changes the Single Use Plastic Game

The plastic bags at the grocery store, your straw from an iced coffee, packaging of a sweet snack; these are all examples of single use plastics we use everyday for our own convenience. These products are so commonly used throughout our day to day lives we often forget how harmful they truly are. Single-use plastics are made up of fossil fuel based chemicals that are designed to be disposed of after one use. The most common single use plastics are water bottles, wrappers, bags and straws. These types of plastics are extremely harmful to the environment and continue to be thrown out due to society’s prioritisation of convenience over durability, with little consideration for potential future impacts. 

Personally, I always heard about how bad single use plastics were and attempted to avoid them when possible. But sadly, I often fell short and opted for the convenient nature of single use plastics. It’s a habit that I want to change, however it can be difficult to find truly seamless replacements for our straws, cutlery, and more. Luckily, one of my friends had the brilliant idea of starting up her own business to provide the world with sustainable swaps for single use plastic. I remember discussing the idea with her at a dinner one night and I could see the passion and excitement she had when talking about starting her own business and helping the planet. Only a few months later, the brand was born. Little Green Panda (LGP) was founded on the belief that single use products shouldn’t be made to last a lifetime. My friend and founder, Manon Beauchamp Tardieu had a vision to re-image single use plastics and create more sustainable alternatives. It was such a wonderful experience to watch her small business grow into one that now has their products stocked in business around Australia. 

Since the inception of the business, it has grown exponentially and created a wide community of supporters. They have launched a range of products including single use wheat and sugarcane straws, reusable bamboo straws and even cutlery made from coffee grounds. LGP exemplifies how one person’s passion can create discussion and change to better the environment and start making a positive impact. 

How It All Began

After a dinner table discussion about how Manon wanted to make a difference and start combating the plastic pollution problem, she decided to test out designing ethically sourced, sustainable bamboo straws. Manon sourced the bamboo for the straws from small-scale female farming communities around the world where employability can be scarce, helping locals secure jobs. After many trial products and testing, Little Green Panda was formed! The website and social media were up and running, getting ready for their launch. Manon was super excited to launch her business and knew that this starting step was only the beginning to her wonderful and impactful initiative.

Little Green Panda’s Instagram Account

Why This Business Matters 

Businesses such as LGP are vital to raising awareness and making a difference to the single use plastic problem. With the community’s support, LGP has managed to keep over 12 million (as of May 2022) out of landfills and our oceans and has provided support for families in need to give them a second source of income. This business is growing rapidly and has grown so much that they have been able to expand out of Manon’s home office to a large warehouse in Melbourne to hold all their stock. Creating solutions to the single use plastic problem is important as people still crave convenience. Therefore, the solutions must be easily interchanged with current plastic products, which is where LGP really stands out. A lot of alternatives to plastic require individuals to bring their own set of cutlery or straws, but LGP products are also single use, but much better for the environment. 

The Products 

The main two products that stand out from this brand are their wheat and sugar cane straws as well as their coffee cutlery. Both of these products are marketed as single use, which means it is simple and easy to make a swap in restaurants, bars and other venues. 

LGP’s wheat straws are made from the stem of the wheat plant and are non-toxic as well as biodegradable. These straws are safe and eco-friendly single-use alternatives to plastic straws. After many trials and tests, LGP even managed to ensure these straws don’t go soggy in your glass like paper straws often do. What a win! Adding to the benefits, these wheat straws are designed to biodegrade in the presence of heat and moisture, making them compostable at home or at business venues. 

LGP’s next product, coffee cutlery, is the first of its kind being the first coffee cutlery range made from home compostable materials such as up-cycled coffee grounds. The cutlery is PLA-free and super sturdy just like its plastic counterpart. These forks, knives and spoons are also reusable if you wish to clean them after use. You can also dispose of them when finished in a home compost bin if you have one too.

Little Green Panda’s Product Line

How They’ve Grown 

LGP came into the market at exactly the right time. With multiple movements towards banning single use plastic and communities making more of an effort to be sustainable, LGP’s products suit the current demand. Specifically, in Australia most states have now banned single use plastics or are phasing them out by the end of 2022. These banned items include plastic takeaway containers, utensils, straws, and more, which LGP has the substitute for. 

Since entering the market, Manon’s company has skyrocketed in popularity and saved millions of single use plastics from ending up in our oceans and environment. Many restaurants, bars and other venues have opted to use their sustainable products to make a difference and stop plastic pollution. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, LGP is an impactful company that is truly making a difference. From a wholesome side project to a booming business, LGP has done it all. Creating groundbreaking products that are soon to be seen in more venues nationally, the company is on track to be even more successful and make an enormous positive impact on our world. 

Every year that they continue to grow and develop, the more plastic is saved from being thrown into our environment. In the future, the business hopes our single use plastic will be entirely replaced by sustainable alternatives such as their bamboo, wheat and sugarcane straws or coffee cutlery. It is so amazing to have had a front seat perspective and see how much Manon has accomplished. With new up and coming products on the way, we are sure to hear more about Little Green Panda and their success in the future.