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Updated: October 3, 2022 / 2022 NextUp: 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40: An advocate for reducing single-use plastics from everyday life

Photo / Courtesy of Katie Weiler Katie Weiler left a full-time consulting job to launch a startup, Viable Gear, which offers a range of sustainable products for the fishing, aquaculture and farming industries.
Katie Weiler, 32

Founder and president

Viable Gear Click here to see all 40 Under 40 honorees
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Significant professional accomplishment: Launching my startup, Viable Gear, in 2021 and by 2022 leaving my full-time leadership consulting job, after 6.5 years, to jump in full-time as founder and president of Viable Gear.

Passion project: I’m extremely passionate about doing work to reduce single-use plastics and the use of virgin petroleum-based plastics. I turned this passion into my company with the work we are driving toward at Viable Gear. In 2017 I began the journey to be plastic free and I’ve been learning ever since. I ran an educational Instagram account for 3 years that focused on single-use plastics and how to swap them out of our daily lives. I believe that every step away from daily plastics from the consumer helps, especially for our health and the health of the ocean. But the biggest step that will help on a larger scale to create sustainable change is going to be updated or new policy and laws in place to regulate large industry uses of plastics.

Audacious goal: I’d love to be able to grow Viable Gear to include a wide range of products for the aquaculture, fishing, and farming industries that replace the short lifespan petroleum-based products that are needed to successfully farm food right now. In order to do this successfully the goal is to have a cost competitive price that allows Viable Gear to be the best option from usage, sustainability, and price.

Favorite quote: “You can’t wake people up if you turn your back on them.” — Barack Obama

Influential book: “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho

Favorite TV show: “Schitt’s Creek”

How do you recharge: If I’m with my dog, Curtis, my partner, Pete, or my family and friends then I’m happy, and it’s even better if we happen to be on skis, or in/on the water.

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