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Weee Recycling Initiative Based On An Ethical Ethos Of Two Good Friends

my ethical business my story

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#1 Phil Gibbs

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:54 AM

The idea of an electrical waste recycling business was that of my business partner, who I met whilst working for a national waste management company.

I was based in IT, whilst Paul was in working in the training and business systems department.  It was an idea conceived after a couple of things:

  • hearing of European legislation (WEEE directive) being introduced to support the recycling
  • and a problematic experience I had when trying to dispose of some computer equipment ethically and efficiently.
I often smile as I wonder just how many business partnerships began with a nice beer and some notes on a slip of paper



Phil Gibbs and Paul Turbutt
Co Owners and Directors of Pure Planet Recycling

Like all good business plans, ours was first laid out on a napkin, over a drink and a chat, then pitched to friends and family to get feedback from people we trusted. We received positive feedback on the idea, although most people were unaware on the legislation at this point and how we would help educate upon this.

We hatched a plan to “get the word out” to local businesses about the recycling we could offer and got to work immediately on a website, flyers and acquiring our first van. Once all of these basics were in place, the word was to be spread. We took one day of our due holidays from our current jobs, and off we went distributing our flyers. Within the first few hours we had our first enquiry from a local company with electrical waste to recycle, asking if we could come in for a chat to discuss quoting and to give them more information. The buzz that the first enquiry gave was amazing, and our WEEE recycling business began. That first  enquiry instilled in us enough confidence to take the plunge and to set up in our own business on a full time basis.

Six years on and we have grown in size, with expanded recycling services and coverage areas.

Our main business ethos is to treat electrical waste here in the UK, without polluting the environment and ensuring maximum recovery rates of materials. We ensure this is achieved by the careful routing of vehicles, reducing our carbon footprint, ensuring we use the latest technology in end point recyclers for maximum recovery rates and most importantly adhering to the legislation that we operate under.  As we grow, we are careful to maintain our standards on efficiency and impact on the environment.

As a green business, we try to help educate our customers and the public on recycling initiatives through our website and face to face. I spend a lot of time talking to many people about some of the best recycling stories, which in turn raises the profile of the need to recycle. One of the most commonly asked questions is “what happens to our equipment?”, and we always enjoy taking the time to explain to a customer how we recover the materials from their waste equipment and how this then goes back into the manufacturing chain. We also like to show them the equipment used and the process involved, we just hope everyone finds it as fascinating as we do.





#2 Karen Maskall

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:53 PM

cracking story Phil and Paul.  Love the thought of starting on a beer mat. I bet there are hundreds of business partnership that began in exactly the same way  ;)

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#3 Jack Riley

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:09 PM

you guys definitely get the thumbs up from me.  now Im off out for a beer see if it can happen for me  ha ha

#4 Marie Clayton

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:02 AM

What a noble cause from you guys! It just goes to show that big things come from small circumstances and that any one of us can make a difference in our world!

#5 Simon


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Posted 27 December 2013 - 08:23 PM

thats the way to set up a great business ona beer mat ( well almost). good luck to both to grow from strength to strength

#6 billie


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Posted 30 March 2014 - 04:21 AM

Do any of us really think about our electrical waste? I just threw out my old dvd player and now I am going to dig it back out of the bin. What should I do with that kind of stuff? I used to have a guy that would pick up our old batteries but I don't know about electronic equipment.

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