By Koshia Silver
March 2, 2021

They call her “The Plant Lady”

Sharina Perry invented a plant-based alternative to plastic and has created a circular business model around it.

Sharina Perry, the Managing Partner at Utopia Genetics, has many nicknames, but “The Plant Lady” has proven to be a favorite. Perry is not a botanist and isn’t necessarily a green thumb. However, her desire for a better world—an economically stable world—is what drove her to invent a plant-based alternative to plastic.

Sharina Perry with her plant-based alternative to plastic (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Utopia Plastix™ is a plant-based alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics and is set to take the world by storm. Earlier last year, Utopia quietly launched amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and has moved full steam ahead since. With a minority woman at the helm as the company’s creator and founder, Utopia is breaking molds left and right.

When Perry developed this new ‘plastix,’ she knew that wasn’t enough. She knew that she now had the power to create a paradigm shift in how we operate as an economy.

“Systemically speaking farmers and landowners have been overworked and undercompensated for decades,” said Perry. “That doesn’t sit well with me; farmers make us possible and at Utopia we use farming to replace everyday items.”

This is why the Utopia model is so important to Perry. She has considered each layer of her circular business model to fully connect each branch of her process from seed to sell.

Farmers create the foundation of what makes Utopia possible. Agriculture programs backed by the USDA and other organizations were designed to support four main areas to help build thriving communities: family, education and economic development, health, and wellness. Utopia maintains this as the core “WHY” of their seed to sell program.

The Utopia model is the most unique part of the company structure. There is a strategy in place that begins with the seed by employing farmers to produce the crops to sell the products to distributors or manufacturers with sustainability initiatives. All of that is done while maintaining quality control throughout. In fact, one of Perry’s manufacturers is who dubbed her “The Plant Lady.”

Utopia Plastix utilizes USDA-approved crops for its products. The crops utilized absorb carbon at 4-5 times the rate of trees. U.S. Food and Drug Administration compliant standards are used from beginning to end in making the Plastix, producing a non-toxic and safe resin to replace traditional single-use items like food packaging. Still, Perry has taken a step further and is looking to utilize her crops to produce building materials and auto parts.

While Utopia sets to help advance the interest in sustainability and play a role in reducing carbon emissions, they do not seek to replace manufacturers.

Sharina Perry, the inventor of Utopia Plastix, an plant-based alternative to plastic (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

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About Koshia Silver

Koshia Silver has been an Edmond resident since the mid-2000s. She is an experienced marketing and communications leader with a proven background in branding, strategic partnerships, and visual storytelling.

Koshia prides herself on creating corporate narratives that resonate with their audience and she approaches problems with innovative solutions. She loves a challenge.