Rising in the waste industry at a young age, James became Biffa’s youngest Depot Manager at just 18. He went on to form Simply Waste Solutions in 2006 with just a handful of people, one second hand truck and a vision to transform the waste industry and become a truly sustainable solutions partner for businesses.
Having won the Waitrose contract for the London area earlier in 2008, Simply Waste’s fresh approach to waste management convinced John Lewis to extend the contract nationwide to all John Lewis and Waitrose stores and offices. Over the course of the contract net cost savings of 25% were achieved, whilst recycling rates from general waste grew from nothing to 88%.
After eight years’ experience at Office Depot, culminating in the conception, innovation and development of the company’s Environmental Solutions Division, Peter was recruited to establish the UK and European operations arm of Closed Loop Environmental Solutions. CLES, an Australian headquartered company, had previously won the recycling contract for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The investment in six new Scania / Geesink trucks, all equipped with the very latest safety and weighing technology, represented Simply Waste Solutions’ biggest investment to date, enabling it to serve a clutch of new major customers and grow even further. Link to story
In the largest material analysis project ever conducted in the aviation sector, Closed Loop audited more than 100 tonnes of waste from Heathrow’s airport terminals and aircraft cabins. It was demonstrated that more than half of all the airport’s waste could be recycled and, by recovering and reselling these resources, this would save Heathrow over £250,000 per annum. Link to story
Partnering with Coveris, Closed Loop launched the UK’s first ever food-grade PET cup with 50% recycled content. The cup was created for use the at the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal FC, and was one of the UK’s first ever closed-loop programmes. Link to story
Simply Cups was created to help divert the 2.5 billion beverage cups, used in the UK each year, away from landfill or incineration. This was the world’s first cup recycling solution that was both practical and commercially orientated and drew on the combined strengths of Simply Waste’s logistics capabilities and Closed Loop’s ability to manage the programme and then turn the problematic materials into new materials and products.Link to story
In addition to winning contracts for Anglian Windows, Kings College London and Five Guys, Simply Waste also became the national waste management partner for Nando’s, and responsible for servicing all 340 restaurants throughout the UK.
Simply Cups convinced Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to to include the hidden scandal of cup recycling in his ‘War on Waste’ programme, that was being aired on the BBC. What followed was an avalanche of press interest and a ground-zero point in which cup recycling would start to be taken seriously by the whole of the supply chain, including retailers and even the government.Link to story
Having quickly gained traction in the UK, Simply Cups was launched down-under two years later. Starting from just a trial, to test the appetite, a year later 7-Eleven came on-board with cup recycling points placed in over 200 of its stores. More recently, Muffin Break has pledged that, for every takeaway coffee or hot drink sold it will pay to have one cup recycled by Simply Cups.Link to story
Having already been selected a year earlier for the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Great Britain’ report, Simply Waste was then chosen as on LSE’s ‘Companies to Inspire Europe’ in 2017. This is an even greater accolade since as few as 150 companies from the UK have ever been included in the European list.Link to story
The annual Simply Cups Conference was held at The Crystal, in London, with speakers including BBC presenter and Guardian journalist Lucy Siegle, Mary Creagh MP, Ollie Rosevear from Costa Coffee and circular economist, Sophie Thomas. Simply Cups is now recycling over 25 million cups each year, from over 100 business, launched a range of cup recycling bins and has made the world's first reusable cup made from used cups.
In 2018, Simply Waste completed two major deals that expanded its client base and provided new regional bases. Its first purchase this year was the wheeled-bin collection division of Oxfordshire’s M&M Waste Solutions which was followed up by the acquisition of waste management division of London-based Dirty Harry’s Group. A year earlier, the company opened its new Depot and Waste Transfer Station near Heathrow, and has since opened additional regional depots in Bicester and Bristol.Link to story
The demand in Europe for a trusted name in cup recycling has led to the launch of Simply Cups in the Benelux region. Working with local Dutch-based partners, Simply Cups will not only become the only company covering the whole of the region but will also be able to, locally, turn used cups into new products.
Having successfully created and operated Simply Cups together, James Capel and Peter Goodwin were ready for the next challenge. Recognising that the transition to a more circular economy was only going to happen through a combination of entrepreneurship and positive disruption, the pair formed co-cre8 to address the pressing issues of resource management.
The award-winning scheme was now recycling over 15 million cups each year, from over 100 business, including many high-profile names such as Johnson + Johnson, Zurich, Channel 4, Nestle, Shell and Sodexo. It had developed a range of highly functional and durable recycling bins, together with a collection of products, all made from used cups, including the world's first reusable cup. Recognising the exciting future growth opportunities, Simply Waste Solutions fully acquired Simply Cups in the UK.Link to story
By 2020, Simply Waste Solutions employed over 200 people, managed a national waste service of 100,000+ collections per week, owned a fleet of 66 vehicles and achieved an annual turnover of over £30m. After 14 years of building an incredibly inspiring business, and leading a fantastic team from the ground up, James Capel took his business to a successful exit, selling Simply Waste Solutions to Biffa plc for £35m in October 2020.Link to story<