EarthBot was founded in 2023 by husband-and-wife team Mike and Karis. EarthBot aims to address the issue of plastic waste, by making sure that plastic is recycled instead of going into landfill, being burned or ending up in the environment, and that there is a market for products made from recycled household plastic.
They take household waste plastic from homes in the UK and recycle it in their Birmingham workshop into artistic and eye-catching products. EarthBot’s aim is to increase the use of recycled plastic in the UK to ensure what we put in the council recycling bin actually gets recycled.
They currently make tile clocks, coasters, plant pots and key-rings and are looking to expand this range further within the future. They have a complete range of colours, due to the wide range of plastic sources used – they can be anything from blues and purples from old DVD cases and sweet boxes to greens and yellows from cleaning bottles and mushroom trays. They even have clock made entirely from Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodles!
Why is sustainability important to you?
“Previously I had worked in the recycling industry and a lot of household waste plastic we had deemed ‘recycled’ was shipped overseas. From here there was no way of tracking what happened to it next and making sure none of it ended up in waterways or in the sea. I am very keen to improve the domestic market for recycling and make us responsible for our own waste instead of shipping it overseas and making it someone else’s problem.”
What sorts of things do you need to consider to ensure your business is sustainable?
“We focus primarily on household plastics to make sure what is put in the council waste bins actually gets recycled. This is a well collected resource in this country which unfortunately then finds its way overseas. Currently 60% of all plastic collected in the UK is shipped overseas in this manner, accounting for 0.48 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2022. As the business expands we will look further to improve our sustainability by making sure our energy supply is moved to green energy and if we start using our own vehicles make sure they are electric.”
What is your favourite thing about running your business?
“Since starting the business I have learned a lot more about the industry and plastic recycling in general, and this constant voyage of discovery is introducing me to new businesses, people and ideas around Birmingham I would otherwise not have met.”
What do you love about Birmingham?
“Birmingham has a strong industrial heritage as the birthplace of the industrial revolution – we are currently operating out of the old Waverley works formerly part of the BSA factory in Small Heath. Birmingham is positioning itself to embrace the new manufacturing revolution of recycling, repurposing and repairing and EarthBot are proud to be part of that movement.”
How might people get in touch?