Friday, September 6, 2013

Growing Business with EPR in Maine

By Martin Grohman and Clayton Kyle

Martin Grohman
Clayton Kyle

Marty and Clayton are board members of Product Policy Institute.   They are both Maine business entrepreneurs working in spaces created or helped by extended producer responsibility policies.  Clayton created an innovative and successful business recovering beverage containers, capitalizing on the opportunity created by the Maine bottle bill – the grandmother of EPR laws in the US.  Marty co-founded a composite decking manufacturing company before becoming Director of Sustainability  for GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacture.  In that role he promotes shingle recycling, as well as internal efforts promoting sustainability.  Recently, Marty began hosting a podcast show called The Grow Maine Show in which Marty interviews Maine entrepreneurs.  Episode #4 is an interview with fellow PPI board member Clayton Kyle.  Listen here to learn about how many minutes to cook lobsters, what instruments they play, and how the bottle bill created a great business opportunity.

The remarkable thing about Clayton Kyle:  he has developed large-scale, successful businesses in two completely unrelated fields: commercial roofing insulation and beverage container recycling.  In between, he started a venture fund, and is skilled at recognizing opportunities.  When an insulation manufacturer consolidated, with no one left to serve the market, he put together a team and pursued the opportunity, developing a national business that still operates today.  When container recycling was frustrating (ever try “reverse vending”? – if so, you’re probably still in line), he licensed the technology to build Clynk, now processing more than 80 million containers a month. These startups were not based on specific technical knowledge, but rather upon Clayton’s ability to recognize an opportunity, and expertise in the business of growing businesses.

Clynk takes the frustrating out of recycling.  If you’ve seen Clynk’s branding, you know what I mean.  It’s eye-catching, and it conveys a key message: “We recycling easy and fun.”  It even makes you feel a little virtuous (Clayton and I are both board members of The Product Policy Institute, which helps promote recycling legislation).  But the thing that surprised everybody (although it seems obvious now) is that a shopper is more likely to shop at a store that offers Clynk

Plus, you’ll learn things you didn’t know about deposit bottles; what to expect if your son builds a motorized bike; and the right kind of container to buy your beer in!

Listen here.

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