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Kevin Markarian displays some of his products at the Ecopack Concept facility located in Valence, France.
Kevin Markarian displays some of his products at the Ecopack Concept facility located in Valence, France.

Package Deal

Kevin Markarian is fulfilling two dreams—owning a business and sustaining the planet 


It was the summer of 2023, when Kevin Markarian completed his journey from a legal professional to a passionate advocate for sustainable packaging solutions. The French-Armenian visionary from the southeastern city of Valence took a transformative risk to put his money where the future is, switching careers and repurposing his educational and professional experience to become the owner of Ecopack Concept, a manufacturer of eco-friendly sustainable packaging.

“I want my babies to grow in a safe environment, with cleaner perspectives,” Markarian, who recently became a father for the second time, noted. “Our children deserve a life without environmental threats and health risks posed by plastic pollution.”

Yet, there’s another factor at play. While he was very much invested in his work as a notaire—a French-government appointed public and ministerial officer who handles estate and property matters—he admitted, “I felt like I was suffocating. I was not passionate about my work.”

The activist in a suit finally cut ties with his secure position in January 2021, freeing himself to shop around in earnest for an investment in the sustainability sector. “After much exploration, I concluded that I wanted to focus on waste recycling. That’s when I started searching for the right venture.”

In 2023, Markarian took the plunge and acquired Ecopack Concept, a Valence-based company with international markets. It was founded by an experienced manufacturer who ran the company for two and a half years prior to selling it to Markarian.

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Over one million units of Ecopack Concept’s seafood platters have been sold.

Over one million units of Ecopack Concept’s seafood platters have been sold.
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Over one million units of Ecopack Concept’s seafood platters have been sold.

Its new owner highlighted the company’s flagship product, the seafood platter, as a groundbreaking innovation. “We were the first to create a biodegradable seafood platter,” Markarian noted. “This product not only addresses environmental concerns, but also offers a sustainable alternative to traditional polystyrene packaging. Polystyrene cannot be recycled and most of the time it goes to oceans and sea animals ingest it.

Alternatively, one million units of our seafood platter have been sold. The packaging is made by the waste of cane sugar, which means you can put the product in the compost. After four months, it becomes green. Now we are trying to develop other packaging that can replace an equally or more hazardous substance: plastic.”

Markarian underscores some facts that most consumers don’t consider. “It isn’t just the sea animals that ingest plastic, we humans do, too. European studies affirm that scientists have found plastic and polystyrene in human blood. We have plastic in our bodies. So we must limit the use of plastic as much as possible because it’s a threat to our health. If it’s not good for animals, it is not good for us. When we can’t recycle plastic, we bury it or we burn it, or we export it to poor countries that are unable to recycle it. So, plastic winds up in our oceans, putting the entire ecosystem in danger.”

Our goal is not just to create products, but also to instill a mindset of sustainability and educate people about eco-friendly practices.

Markarian also noted that his company can’t manufacture every type of packaging because, depending on the product contained in it, plastic must be used to preserve it. Nonetheless the goal is to reduce the use of plastic in packaging as soon as possible.

In the meantime, Markarian’s ambition led Ecopack Concept to explore new avenues and develop ten new products in 2024, from the seafood platters and trays, compostable plates, and recyclable lids, to covers, wraps, pouches, and customized sustainability solutions. “We are always looking for new products and patents,” he emphasized. “Our goal is not just to create products, but also to instill a mindset of sustainability and educate people about eco-friendly practices.”

To develop products, he is always looking for opportunities. As an example, he is going to supermarkets, and spending lots of time examining plastic packaging of various products to see what could be replaced. “I think about how we can make packaging thinner and smaller,” he said. He also tries to stay up to date on other eco-friendly businesses. “We will soon make a presentation at the chamber of commerce and industry to educate suppliers on eco-friendly packaging and the importance of recycling.”

When asked about the success of the company, Markarian was ready to report various indicators of success.

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Markarian acquired the company in 2023.

Markarian acquired the company in 2023.
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Markarian acquired the company in 2023.

“We have 1,000 clients, more and more of them are large and medium-size supermarkets in France. These enterprises want to become more eco-friendly because of the norms we have in France and the government knows that consumers are sensitive about it. Plus, we are not just dealing with local supermarkets in France but we also export to the UK, Dubai, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. We just received a state subsidy of 100,000 euros to help us implement Ecopack Concept in North America, the take-away food continent.”

The company, which is still considered a start up with five employees running the office, owns all the production equipment and the patents. Someone oversees the product development department and, naturally, Markarian handles the legal affairs. Despite the company’s early success, Markarian remains grounded, acknowledging the financial challenges and continuous investment required to keep the business growing. “Buying this company was like starting from scratch,” said Markarian “Every euro earned is reinvested into new projects and innovations.”

Apart from his entrepreneurial endeavors, Markarian is actively engaged in community service through the AGBU Valence Chapter, a lifelong involvement since childhood. As its chair until September 2024, he will also remain on the AGBU France District board and vows to always stay close to the organization. In other words, for Markarian sustainability isn’t just about saving the oceans and the planet. Keeping AGBU projects and programs strong in every generation is also top priority. 

Originally published in the June 2024 ​issue of AGBU Insider. end character

About the AGBU Insider

AGBU Insider profiles extraordinary AGBU program alumni across a diverse set of industries and passions. With exclusive interviews and photography, each issue reveals the Armenian impact on society, community, and industry.