PODCAST #36 · BEN YOUNG · TACKLING BIG PROBLEMS THROUGH BEAUTIFUL REUSABLES @ FRANK GREEN

PODCAST #36 · BEN YOUNG · TACKLING BIG PROBLEMS THROUGH BEAUTIFUL REUSABLES @ FRANK GREEN

Ben Young is a caffeine enthusiast and passionate environmental advocate. He is also the founder of Frank Green, a company specializing in solving the single use plastic problem through beautiful, practical reusable products. They are most well-known for their stylish, curvy coffee cups and water bottles. Since their inception in 2013, Frank Green has grown into one of Australia’s most loved reusable cups and bottles brands and is rapidly expanding around the world.

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“~40% of landfill is either coffee cups or single use beverage containers… 90% of office bins at 3 o’clock on a Friday are either single use coffee containers or beverage containers… when you look at a company’s total waste cost, so much of it goes to managing the collection and disposal of those two items”
– Ben Young

We caught up with Ben at the Frank Green headquarters in Port Melbourne, Australia while he was out from the USA to attend the Melbourne Coffee Expo. We discussed the following:

  • Ben’s background, spending time in nature (~02:15)
  • Ben’s early professional career in logistics, M&A and big corporate (~03:30)
  • Frank Green, the name and an intro to the business (~05:15)
  • How Ben transitioned from the corporate world into starting and running his own business and early learnings on what it takes to succeed (~06:20; ~10:30)
  • 100 things Frank Green had to get right to make their coffee cups a success (~09:15; 18:30)
  • Making mistakes in the early days of Frank Green and ruthless focus on product engineering (~11:20)
  • Why Ben chose the reusable cup idea to focus on and the problem with the recycling industry (~14:00)
  • More on the industrial design of the Frank Green cups (~18:20)
  • What makes a coffee cup or a water bottle ‘smart’? (~21:15; 24:30)
  • The Frank Green feeling (~23:40)
  • Embedding sustainability into the business (~25:00)
  • The case for manufacturing in Australia (~27:30)
  • Why Ben decided to tackle this problem at scale (~32:15)
  • Impact: How Frank Green has measured their impact (~34:40)
  • The role of conscious business in driving change (~35:30)
  • Ben’s influences including Earthwatch (~37:00)
  • Expansion plans into the US and the EU and what’s next for Frank Green (~38:15)
  • Advice for entrepreneurs wanting to run a purpose-led business (~44:20)

“The problem is so big, the system is broken… We want world domination so we can try and stop this problem”
– Ben Young

NOTABLE LINKS

Sustainable Jungle Podcast - Ben Young - Tackling Big problems through beautiful reusables at Frank Green #reuse #frankgreen #zerowaste

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