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We are Bambaw, we rock the status-quo of consumerism by developing sustainable alternatives to single use products

The Mission

Waste as we know it today is a human invention, less than a century old. Consumerism took a wrong turn, choking the planet with billions of tons of trash. Our mission is to rethink the way we consume and offer durable alternatives to wasteful products, which we call zero-waste swaps. Our zero-waste swaps are crafted with the lowest eco-footprint possible and under fair conditions in the whole production chain.

“Bambaw believes that a more sustainable and ethically conscious world is possible, it’s up to us to create it.”

That’s why we focus on building an ethical community of game changers. Together we share information, ideas, and enthusiasm that help move the zero-waste movement forward.

Below is our story: How we arrived – where we are – where we want to go.

Founding Bambaw

In 2015, the twin brothers Max and Augustin were shocked by the scope of plastic pollution. They asked themselves, how to live their lives and create as little waste as possible, while empowering others to do the same. Their conclusion was simple: Offering alternatives to wasteful single-use products to tackle pollution at its source.

These zero-waste swaps prevent waste from entering the environment.

There is no such thing as waste in the natural world. Waste as we know it today is a modern human invention.

Before the 1940’s, products were designed to be reusable and made from high quality materials. During the 50’s, the mass production of plastic was commercialised. Since then, a throw-away culture has evolved, endangering all life on earth and we need to act now to stop it.

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan

The team

Since the founding of Bambaw, the zero-waste movement has gained traction in the world: An increased number of people became mindful about their purchase impact. That’s great. Bambaw is now a growing team of waste warriors, working hard to help make the earth a liveable place for generations to come.

One dream, one team.

A better tomorrow

Our journey has just started. We are determined to help the zero-waste movement grow. Making zero-waste swaps commonplace as well as sharing information on how to decrease your eco-footprint are the next steps on the road to a waste-free world.

We cannot create a better tomorrow alone, it is up to everyone to make small, but meaningful changes.

We are always open for your suggestions, ideas and opinions. So, if you have a suggestion or a project you would like to collaborate on, we would love to hear from you.

Zero-Waste
Waste is everywhere. We are so accustomed to single-use convenience that our way of living evolved into a throwaway society. It is time for change as alternatives exist.

The single-use plastic problem

We already know that plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose. A product with such a lifespan, mass-produced for single use, only creates problems.

From all the plastic ever created 12% has been destroyed by incineration and only 9% has been recycled ¹. This means that most plastic (79%) finds its way into the world’s ecosystems endangering all life forms on earth.

Luckily, different projects in the world are trying to clean up the mess we created. At Bambaw we want to tackle the issue at the source and offer zero-waste swaps that do not contribute to the plastic problem in the first place.

What is zero-waste?

Since the invention of mass-produced plastic in the 1950’s, a throw-away culture has evolved in which obsolescence and single-use are serving the best interests of corporations. In this throw-away culture it is normal for a single-use item to be used for 10 minutes but to remain on earth for hundreds of years.

60 years later, litter is everywhere to be found, wildlife is suffocating on plastic waste and countries do not know how to dispose of their trash anymore. There are so many types of plastic that recycling programs aren’t effective and can only deal with 9% of the problem.

Zero-waste is a lifestyle that aims to reduce the waste generated on earth. It offers the simplest solution to pollution by tackling the plastic problem at its source.

Zero-waste is rethinking the way we consume to avoid using products that will remain on earth for hundreds of years, after being used for only 10 minutes.

The zero-waste movement is about finding beauty in simplicity. About doing more with less and refocussing on what is essential. The movement is made of a community of change makers who all take small steps towards sustainability. Together we go step by step towards a world with less waste. Join the journey. Aim for progress, not perfection.

What are zero-waste swaps?

Zero-waste swaps are alternatives to reduce the waste generated from single-use items. Swaps exist everywhere, whether it is in the kitchen, the office, the bathroom there is always a possible swap around.

Swaps come with three main advantages:

• Swaps generate the least amount of waste possible.
• Swaps usually do a better job than their wasteful counterpart.
• Swaps save you money on the long run as they are reusable.

We design zero-waste swaps to be reusable, recyclable and/or compostable.
Have a look at our zero-waste swaps.

Bambaw Single-Use-vs-ZeroWaste-Swap

Zero-waste partners

About 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic ² have already been created since the mass production of plastic in the fifties. This is equivalent to how much 822.000 Eiffel Towers would weigh. Out of the 8.3 billion metric tons, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Those billions metric tons of trash still have an unknown impact on nature. Understanding the problem is crucial to create a waste-free world. From knowledge comes caring.

At Bambaw we fund research campaigns to ensure that we can grasp the consequences of waste on our environment quicker.

Our research and awareness partners are: 5gyres and the Plastic Soup Foundation.

5gyres
5gyres does research, educates and lobbies for a radical decrease of plastic pollution. Several legislations such as the American Microbead-Free Waters Act, signed by former president Barack Obama, were made possible by 5gyres among other organisations.

Plastic Soup Foundation
The Dutch foundation campaigns for clean-ups and less waste production to save the oceans. The organisation got its name from Charles Moore who researched plastic in the water and framed the term ‘plastic soup’.

CO2 neutrality

In 2018, the worldwide carbon emissions rose yet again. Scientists are warning that reducing greenhouse gases is urgently needed to reach the climate targets and keep global warming and its devastating effects as low as possible.

The road to CO2 neutrality

CO2 Neutral Supply Chain

The journey towards a more sustainable world is made of two roads: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting natural habitats. We are committed to reducing plastic waste, but we won’t forget about reducing emissions. Therefore, our supply chain and transport are carbon-neutral, certified by the CO2 Logic label.

Greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming. The pollutants form a blanket in the atmosphere. This blanket traps the heat and acts as an insulation layer. The process warms our planet, leading to a variety of unwanted events such as extreme weather (e.g. floods, heatwaves, etc.) and the endangerment of wildlife.

If we all start to act now, we will still create a sustainable world, which we can proudly leave for the next generations!

How are we reducing our carbon footprint?

We reduce our own waste production and greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible. But for us, this is not enough yet. We are determined to have a carbon-neutral supply chain.

To achieve this, we calculate the total environmental impact of our supply chain. Together with CO2 Logic, we map down the journey of every product from production untill the arrival of the customer. The shipping method, travel kilometres, and weight are monitored to picture the emissions accurately.

Greenhouse gas emissions are global, thus an increase or decrease in one country effects the rest of the world. A global decrease can be achieved by a carbon offset: A voluntary action to help reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in another part of the world. The projects are most effective in developing countries, due to the greater efficiency of appliances in developed countries.

“We compensate for our impact by supporting an environmental project in Malawi.”

Efficient cookstoves in Malawi

Malawi is a developing country in southeast Africa. The state is one of the poorest in the world.

Most of the population uses biomass for their cooking. Unfortunately, burning these resources has a noticeable impact on the environment and releases greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Vast stretches of tropical rainforest dominate the country’s landscape. However, this valuable natural habitat is in danger due to deforestation for cooking, among others.

Additionally to the significant environmental benefits of the project, it also helps the people of Malawi. Reducing the need for costly wood and charcoal increases their purchase power and savings for other projects.

This is why we support the cookstove climate project in this African country. The project introduces highly efficient ceramic cookstoves to people. Each stove uses 75% less wood than a traditional fire saving tonnes of CO₂ emissions.

Production Process

The Bambaw zero-waste swaps are great at reducing waste but that is not all! How and from which materials our swaps are made are equally important.

Responsibly made

How our products are made matters a lot to us. With all our partners, we ensure that strong environmental and ethical standards are respected. To guarantee this, we work in close collaboration with all our partners and help them to develop a sustainable production process to keep a low environmental footprint.

In Indonesia, we work with a familial workshop with who we are nearly in daily contact and collaborate to create quality products. We have supported them financially when Indonesian banks turned their back on them. To improve the working conditions, we help them to purchase tools and equipment on the international market.

Materials

The materials used to create swaps are crucial. Before each product is made, an in-depth analysis of the different options is done to find the perfect match between durability, sustainability and usability. We do prefer two main materials:

Bamboo

Bamboo is truly a wonder plant. It is a symbol of strength, flexibility, and sustainability. For many reasons’ bamboo, is often called ‘the world’s most renewable material’. It can grow up to one meter a day. This fast grower absorbs five times more carbon dioxide and produces 35% more oxygen than trees.

To grow like this, bamboo requires little water and neither pesticides nor fertilizers. When bamboo is harvested, the plant regenerates itself from its roots system. These root systems also prevent erosion and nourish the soil with potassium and other nutriments.

This renewable “Superhero” remains impressive when crafted into products. Its strength makes it the first choice to create scaffold in Asia. Bamboo has also natural anti-bacterial properties, which makes it an excellent choice for cutlery or straws.

Improved techniques make it possible to create textiles from bamboo. Bamboo fibre is extremely soft, light weighted and a more sustainable alternative to cotton.

“There are many applications where bamboo is a more sustainable substitute. That’s why we, at Bambaw, love bamboo!”

Did you know?

• Bamboo is not actually wood, it’s a form of sweet grass!
• Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth.
• The record for the highest bamboo plant is held by a 48-meter-high bamboo plant in China.
• Bamboo can absorb up to 30% more CO2 than plants and trees.
• No pesticides or fertilizer are necessary to grow bamboo.
• Bamboo is good at preventing soil erosion.

Stainless-steel

Steel is the most recycled material worldwide. It can be melted to be reused and repurposed without any loss in quality. The overall recycling rate is estimated to be at an extremely high 86% ¹. This allows that a two out of three tons of the steel used today is recycled.

Stainless steel is a symbol for strength, durability and resistance. Despite being a man made product, steel is an eco-friendly option due to its high recycling rates and the long lifetime of steel products. The energy required to forge new stainless steel has been cut in half during the last 30 years.

Modern stainless steel is safe for the workers creating it and the consumers using it.

Did you know?

• The earliest known use of steel was almost 4.000 years ago.
• First modern stainless steel was used in 1872.
• Firstly mass produced for railroads.

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