92 - Justin Needham: The business of waste

July 29th 2020

Justin Needham, my last guest for the plastics free July series, has been involved in recycling for many years on a grassroots level. Having started one of the first consumer recycling collections businesses in South Africa he has first hand knowledge of how the system works and what the inherent shortfalls are. After spotting a gap in the market he is now pioneering the sector once again by bringing the reverse vending machine concept to our shores but tweaking it for local application and backing it with data and a custom consumer app.

We discuss the state of the recycling industry here in South Africa and some of the stumbling blocks in the way of really scaling and reaching true success. We also discussed the current business models, how they are not currently serving the planet and its communities and what needs to change to drive real transformation and make business a strong force for good.

This was an enlivening and motivating conversation for me, I learnt a lot and enjoyed throwing some big ideas around with Justin. If you are interested in recycling you cant miss this one, enjoy.