Reusable pallet wrap startup Bearhug lands $325,000 Angel round

- June 28, 2024 2 MIN READ
Bearhug pallet wrap
Reusable pallet wrap startup Bearhug has banked $325,000 in a Angel round to reduce plastic waste.

The Sydney startup was founded in January 2023 by Tom Field and a uni mate, Max Higgins, and has already prevented more than 4 tonnes of plastic wrap from ending up in landfill.

Unlike other startups that have developed more environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic pallet wrap, Bearhug has developed a reusable netting to keep pallet stacks secure.

Field was driven by his own frustrations dealing with plastic waste, making it his mission to replace to 2.8 million tonnes of annual pallet  wrap waste, which accounts for 1.5% of all plastic waste globally, with an reusable alternative that’s also cheaper in the long run.

Bearhug, based in Belrose, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, started out working with craft brewers, and has now expanded to service any business that wraps pallets, signing on more than 70 businesses as clients in their first 18 months

The funding will be used to address the challenges larger companies face in switching to reuse. They tackles the barrier of return logistics, with ‘pooling model’ for reusable Bearhug wraps where, just like with pallets, they can be exchanged or transferred between businesses, and collected from the end user. That hire model is designed to make the Bearhug wraps viable for every step of a supply chain.

Field said that strength testing found their reusable alternative is more secure than plastic wrap, reducing breakages, and alongside also reducing the environmental impact, they can be applied in less time with less effort than traditional plastic wrap as well as being 10x cheaper over their 1000-use life.

Purchasing a Bearhug wrap results in cost savings that typically deliver a 6-month payback, Field said. 

“With this funding, Bearhug is looking to expand its pooling model, which is similar to [pallet supply company] CHEP to support more Australian FMCG [fast moving consumer goods] companies reduce their plastic waste, saving costs and wrap pallets at a faster speed than they do with single-use plastic,” he said.

“So if you are reading this announcement and know someone interested, send them our way.”