How does Cleanhub address plastic pollution? Well, co-founder and CEO Joel Tasche is here to share their secrets. Cleanhub is a startup that aims to preserve and protect the world’s oceans by collecting and managing multi-layer packaging, which is a type of plastic that is almost impossible to recycle using traditional technologies, and so that is what Cleanhub is for.
Having had the chance to explore many countries in his youth, Joel was grateful for the chance to fully appreciate and immerse himself in nature and the oceans. After finishing his degree, he worked at a startup, later on quit, and got his waste management certification in Germany. And then, together with his two friends Florin and Bosse, they set out on a mission to solve the problem of plastic pollution, thus, Cleanhub was born.
Joel elaborates on the waste collection and management cycle and stresses the importance of not just waste management but of creating more sustainable materials to begin with. He talks about their business model and how and why they partner with businesses that aim to take responsibility for plastic waste and what motivates these businesses to do so in the first place.
He goes on to share why they chose to fly from Germany to India to get Cleanhub running, why they focus on multi-layer packaging in particular, and some of the challenges they faced creating Cleanhub right before the COVID-19 pandemic and how they overcame those challenges. He ends with what he thinks is the key ingredient for companies like them to scale and how he hopes the world becomes more circular (economy wise) in the years to come.
Joel’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:
“In an ideal world, every single household would be connected to a managed waste service.” (15:35)“You can try to be the best company in the world; you will be criticized.” (19:07)“By passing on the theory, by passing on the cost to the polluter in the capitalistic world, you're also setting the incentive to pollute less, and that's what we need to keep in mind.” (19:57)“I really truly believe that every single company that we work with wants to do something good for the planet.” (21:00)“Consumers really appreciate when companies take responsibility, when companies are also transparent about how they conduct business, and that's a massive change that the consumers are driving that is going on right now.” (30:39)“It's the willingness to pay and really putting the money where your mouth is what we need to get going and get more brands to sign up for that.” (31:49)In this episode, we also talked about:
Joel’s and Cleanhub’s beginnings (2:16)Dissecting the waste collection and management system (6:50)Why they chose to start Cleanhub in India (11:32)What’s so special about multi-layer packaging (13:55)What Cleanhub does and doesn’t do (16:29)Why companies partner with Cleanhub (20:53)The challenges they faced as a startup (25:36)The secret to growing at scale (30:19)How Joel envisions the world in 10 years if Cleanhub succeeds (34:02)Support the show