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Circular Economy Podcast - 96 Nick Oettinger - Keeping mattresses in circulation

96 Nick Oettinger – keeping mattresses in circulation

Nick Oettinger is Founder and CEO of The Furniture Recycling Group (TFR Group) in the UK. Nick has 12 years’ experience in recycling and waste management. He was previously Managing Director of a specialist construction company before moving into the waste and recycling sector, where he spent five years as an improvement consultant and nine years in product recycling.
The Furniture Recycling Group (TFR Group) provides mattress recycling, rejuvenation and collection, working in the UK with bed retailers, local authorities, home delivery companies and waste management sites to keep mattresses and their materials in circulation. They rejuvenate and recycle over 10,000 mattresses each week, and are responsible for diverting nearly 9% of all UK mattresses away from landfill.
We’ll hear how online retailing has transformed the market for mattresses, and led to increased levels of returns. Nick explains the complexity of mattress designs, and how TFR Group is going beyond recycling to help its customers recover more value from unwanted mattresses.
Nick describes the broader circular services and advice offered to The Furniture Recyclng Group’s clients, and what makes mattresses such a challenging product to reuse or remake, including barriers created by our sub-conscious perceptions.

Circular Economy Podcast 95 - Simone Andersson - social value from circular e-waste solutions

95 Simone Andersson – social value from circular e-waste solutions

Simone Andersson is Chief Commercial Officer at WEEE Centre, a Kenyan social enterprise that’s been expanding safe e-waste management and circular solutions across East Africa, since 2012. Simone’s background is in communication and sustainability action around waste and water management, and before joining the WEEE Centre she was at RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), where she led innovative developmental projects on resource efficiency, circular economy systems, traceability, precious materials and various solid and liquid wastes.
Her mission is to create awareness about the possibilities and prosperity of Green Business and Clean Tech.
The WEEE Centre focuses on people, planet and prosperity, in particular by helping young people improve their social and economic circumstances. It’s aiming to expand the collection infrastructure to cover all Kenyan Counties and to increase local recycling by bringing more advanced technologies. It also wants to reach other African countries, starting with neighboring Uganda and Tanzania.
By 2019, the WEEE Centre had recycled more than 10,000ntons of e-waste, serving over 8,000 clients across Africa, and creating hundreds of jobs. It became the first and only e-waste management organization to be ISO certified with multiple awards. WEEE Centre has the capacity to recycle all types of e-waste, and has trained many other African countries on safe e-waste recycling.
We’ll hear about the operational complexities, some of the collaborations and partnerships they’ve fostered to overcome the challenges of being a relatively small enterprise, and how they’re trying to make sure they create value-adding circular flows, rather than focusing on recycling.

Circular Economy Podcast Ep92 Elmar Stroomer Africa Collect Textiles

92 Elmar Stroomer – circular textile solutions in Africa

Elmar Stroomer is the founder of Africa Collect Textiles (ACT). Africa Collect Textiles does exactly that – collecting used textiles across Africa, for reuse, recycling and upcycling.

Elmar Stroomer has a strong background in the circular economy and design, and lived in Kenya and Uganda between 2012 and 2017 to get Africa Collect Textiles up and running. Now, Elmar is working full time on the expansion of ACT in Kenya and Nigeria. ACT aims to develop solutions to end the textile waste issues across Africa. It distributes free and affordable clothing to underprivileged communities, and currently has over 40 collection points in Nairobi and Lagos for used textiles. It provides employment to more than 50 people, who help collect, sort and upcycle fashion waste, used uniforms and off-cuts, creating products such as rugs, backpacks, toys and much more. On top of this, for every kilogram of used textiles it recycles, Africa Collect Textiles (ACT) donates 10 Kenyan shillings to charity. We hear about how fashion waste imported from the global north has undermined the existing textile and clothing sector in Kenya, and why Elmar decided to create a circular economy for locally produced textiles. Elmar tells us about some of the circular initiatives that ACT has set up, including repurposing workshops, services for resellers that overcome some of the major issues with the system for reselling imported end-of-use textiles, and innovative ways of repurposing end-of-life clothing for local businesses.

Circular Economy Podcast Episode 84 Jo Chidley - ReRe

84 Jo Chidley – ReRe – reusable packaging for consumer goods

Catherine Weetman talks to Jo Chidley, a circular economy expert, chemist, herbal botanist, and co-founder of TWO successful circular economy businesses, Beauty Kitchen (which is on a mission to create the most effective, natural and sustainable beauty products in the world) and the business we’re focusing on today, ReRe. ReRe is a buy anywhere, return anywhere, reuse anywhere alternative to single-use packaging, helping retailers, brands and consumers to switch to Reuse & Refills across a wide range of products from milk to moisturisers and pasta to protein.

Circular Economy Podcast Episode 74 Charles Ross on Outdoor Clothing

74 Charles Ross on Outdoor Clothing

Charles Ross is a specialist in Performance Sportswear Design & sustainable matters, focusing on issues like Forever Chemicals (highlighted by the movie Dark Waters), the Plastics-in-the-Ocean, ReGenerative Agriculture. We discuss a range of sustainability issues related to Outdoor Clothing designs and materials, including the issue of over-consumption

Circular Economy Podcast Episode 73 Tom Szaky - Loop

73 Tom Szaky – Loop – the convenience of prefill

Tom Szaky, founder of TerraCycle, tells us how the Loop reusable packaging platform is bringing the convenience of prefill to high streets everywhere. TerraCycle and Loop are tackling the root causes of waste, including single use and disposable items.

We hear why they chose prefill, and why reuse needs to ‘feel disposable’. Tom explains how they are helping big brands and retailers to make the business case, feel confident about moving forward, and scale up from pilots to in-store roll-outs.

Circular Economy Podcast Ep72 Gavin Fernie-Jones One Tree at a Time

Episode 72 Gavin Fernie-Jones is repurposing outdoor gear, One Tree at a Time

Gavin Fernie-Jones founded One Tree at a Time, an amazing circular social enterprise for outdoor gear and ski-wear, sharing value with the community and nature. Living in the Alps, Gavin has seen for himself the impact global warming has had in the mountains he calls home. He’s always loved the outdoors, having grown up living in an outdoor centre, but it was while running his bootfitting business The Boot Lab that he realised the impact his business was having on the environment.
Gavin started making small changes to the way that business operated, and seeing the results of this inspired him to start a social enterprise called One Tree at a Time.
One Tree at a Time is embedding circular approaches to change behaviours, build community and protect the mountain environment. The One Tree team has tapped into some surprising sources of ‘waste’ to create value for local people and help build and strengthen local connections. On top of that, One Tree at a Time supports businesses and individuals to change behaviour and protect their mountain environment.

Circular Economy Podcast Episode 68 Kresse Wesling – Elvis & Kresse

Episode 68 Kresse Wesling – Elvis & Kresse – luxury products from discarded materials

Kresse Wesling, CBE, is a multi-award winning environmental entrepreneur. After first meeting the London Fire Brigade in 2005, Kresse launched Elvis & Kresse, which rescues and transforms decommissioned fire hose into innovative lifestyle products and returns 50% of profits to the Fire Fighters Charity.The company now collects 12 different waste streams and has several charitable partnerships and collaborations across a number of industry sectors.

Circular Case Study Elvis and Kresse

Example/Elvis and Kresse

Since 2005 Elvis & Kresse has transformed waste materials into luxury lifestyle accessories. The company started by turning decommissioned fire-hoses into hand bags, wallets, belts and luggage. In 2017 it enhanced its production by teaming up with the Burberry Foundation, an independent charity set up by the Burberry Group plc, to use Burberry’s leather off-cuts. Elvis & Kresse also use reclaimed material such as tea and coffee sacks, printing blankets and military grade parachute silk for its products and packaging.

Circular Economy Podcast Ep64 Pierre-Emmanuel Saint-Esprit of ZACK

Ep64 Pierre-Emmanuel Saint-Esprit of ZACK

Pierre-Emmanuel Saint-Esprit is the co-founder of ZACK, France’s leading company enabling the second life of electronic products, through recycling, repair, resale and donation. Last year, the TECH FOR GOOD report by the Presidency of the French Republic named ZACK as one of the top 3 French circular companies.
Pierre-Emmanuel explains how his MBA in entrepreneurship at Berkeley, California, helped him create a business to fight climate change, and reduce our pressure on natural resources. We find out how ZACK creates social value too, helping people build the skills and confidence to secure employment.