Greenhouse Pioneer: Kevin Basham, Director, Plastic Expert

Kevin is the co-founder of Plastic Expert, one of the UK’s leading recycling companies. He has grown it from scratch to a company that processes thousands of tonnes of recycled material every year.

Plastic expert logoKevin is also behind Collect & Recycle, a company collecting electrical waste items and waste packing from UK businesses. Not only that, but as a young entrepreneur he spends a lot of time working with aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them develop their ideas.

Tell us about Plastic Expert – what’s your mission?

To divert as much plastic waste from landfill as possible & to deliver both financial and environmental savings to businesses.

What motivates you?

I love growing businesses, employing great people and making a profit along the way, which can be invested into future projects. Freedom and choice brings me an enormous amount of happiness, I like variety so the alternative of working for someone else wouldn’t be fulfilling. I tried that for a number of years but I wanted to create my own vision.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Growing a stable company from scratch with no money, no previous experience and creating a winning team I trust and respect. It’s been incredibly difficult and I’ve made many self-sacrifices along the way.

What are the challenges you face?

Operating in the plastic recycling sector is extremely difficult. We have to manage our relationships with end users (generally overseas factories) and ensure we’re sourcing the right quality and type of material from waste producers. There are SO many outside factors which influence our commercial success, including the recent oil price crash, supply & demand plus regularity of material to supply end markets.

What are you working on that’s getting you fired up and excited?

Marketing! Over the last 9 months our company has invested heavily into online marketing and traditional methods such as strategic partnerships with complimentary companies. There’s no better opportunity than where someone makes an enquiry with a problem, especially a problem we can help with.

Where do you want to take The Plastic Expert next?

We want to grow our business in the UK and also overseas. This year we are setting up an office in the Far East to help us build greater relationships with end users/factories.

In addition our marketing efforts are designed to attract more business that have a requirement to recycle plastic material and waste packaging.

What can we, as individuals, do to make a difference?

Mindfulness is the key to so much in this world, self-awareness of our wastefulness and an understanding that waste has to go somewhere. Most business don’t have the expertise in-house to deal with recycling and environmental management. It always pays to outsource this important function to a reputable and reliable company.

If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would be the first thing you’d do?

I would get more successful business people, entrepreneurs and leaders involved with education in schools. Academic education is one part of learning but our education system does not put enough emphasis on things like emotional intelligence, communication, leadership, nutrition and financial competency. The best teachers are those who have done it already!

What’s the coolest project you’ve come across, and inspired you?

I love the concept of The Plastic Bank; they are dealing with multiple problems at once, which is a fantastic way to grow such an important projects. I’d love to understand so much more about their plans. The project seems sustainable and scalable which is extremely exciting.

Can you recommend a life-changing book for our readers?

book twoThere are so many to choose from. Recently I read Choose Yourself by James Altucher. James is one of my favorite writers and I’ve shared his work with many people.

I’ve also got to give a shout out to The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun. Anybody interested in making a difference should read his story.

What do you listen to when you’re cooking?

I’m a big fan of Podcasts as I can digest the information whilst doing other things. Lewis Howes ‘School of Greatness’ is a favorite of mine. I also love the Tim Ferris Show, which I highly recommend.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

‘Successful people ask better questions’ – Tony Robbins. I’ve lived by this for a number of years now. Asking brilliant questions will give you brilliant answers. It takes continual practice but this principal has helped me enormously.

Can you leave us with who’d be your Eco Hero?

Mother nature, there is no greater Eco Hero than her.

Find out more on the Plastic Expert website and follow @plasticexpertuk on Twitter