Story Behind the Sketch – The Greenlid

If you haven’t heard of The Greenlid, it’s a compostable compost bin that’s garnered a lot of attention recently – including that of the Dragons on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Brothers Morgan and Jackson Wyatt are the duo behind the household innovation, and they’ve shared some early drawings with us from when The Greenlid was just an idea. Here’s the story behind their company!

Greenlid SketchFor Morgan and Jackson, Greenlid was a classic “there must be a better way” scenario: disposing of those stinky, leaky bags in their home green bin just wasn’t working for them.

The Wyatt brothers wanted something they could toss out with no mess, but would be eco-friendly as well. Luckily, they had the credentials to design it themselves. With Morgan holding a PhD in Chemical Biology and Jackson having gone to Humber College for Industrial and Product Design, their joint expertise made them the perfect designers of the solution.

The first concept they came up with, however, was completely different than what The Greenlid looks like today. Morgan likens the first version to a Diaper Genie for compost; it still didn’t solve the problem of having to clean a messy bin, which is why they continued to innovate.

“We then took notice of some compostable coffee cups that used a corn-based polymer instead of plastic,” says Morgan. “We thought we could re-work that idea and merge it with a KFC-style bucket to make a biodegradable compost bin.”

Green-Lid-PrototypesBut they soon realized that material wasn’t accepted in most compost facilities around the world, and that KFC’s manufacturers weren’t able to cater their production process. So, using his chemistry expertise, Morgan began developing additives that could make paper water-resistant while remaining compostable. After several months of experimentation, Morgan had developed their final patented additive that when added to post-consumer pulp, made it both leak-proof and reduced the smell. The Greenlid was born.

Once they had a prototype, 2014 turned into a big year for Morgan and Jackson. They launched a Kickstarter campaign and surpassed their fundraising goal of $25,000, got involved with Innovation Factory and competed in the LiON’S LAIR competition (winning $51,250 in prizing), and appeared on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, securing a deal with both David Chilton and Arlene Dickinson at $85,000 for 20% stake.

GreenLid_DragonsDen-41David Chilton went on record to dub Greenlid one of his “favourite investments of the past three years”, and it was also was named one of Grocery Innovation Canada’s Top 10 Most Innovative Products of 2014.  

Greenlid has since grown to be available in over 3,000 stores across Canada and has sold over 1 million containers throughout the country. They’re manufactured in Canada and available in Home Hardware, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, RONA, Sobeys, Whole Foods, Sears London Drugs, and more stores across the country.

Morgan and Jackson are also currently in negotiations with major European, Australian and US distributors that will launch Greenlid globally in the spring of 2016.

So what’s Morgan’s advice to entrepreneurs starting out with just an idea? “Everything takes longer than you expect. Figuring out how to package products, getting customers to purchase your products, it all takes time – just stick with it!”

To learn more about The Greenlid, visit www.greenlid.ca