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Going beyond the First Mile

First Mile is on a mission to help businesses recycle everything. We have recently secured funding to continuing making that a reality with our first round of investment from Growth Capital Partners.

I started First Mile in order to help city-centre businesses that wanted to recycle but were being under-served and overcharged by the waste management industry. We have been able to change that by using technology to collect multiple streams of waste daily and at low cost. Customers love our proposition and, since the business started, it has grown by 25% every year.

This new funding will enable us to further our commitment to help all customers become ‘planet savers’. Already we are allowing more than 17,000 businesses across London to recycle more, and this next chapter will allow us to continue expanding to regional towns and cities across the UK.

This has also happened at a time when it is not easy to secure investment. From clean air to the use of pesticides, the UK’s environmental protection rules are intrinsically linked to the EU, so there is uncertainty about what Brexit will mean for our industry.

[Brexit] is an opportunity to instil a sense of accountability among individuals and businesses

London would still be known as the Big Smoke if it wasn’t for environmental rules. We need to ensure that we do not falter and become the ‘dirty man of Europe’ again. A Brexit that is good for the environment must be achieved.

This is an opportunity to instil a sense of accountability among individuals and businesses because every generation is meant to be greener than the one before. We need to look at where the UK has come from to get to this point, and what we are going to do next to ensure that we build our own position of leadership in environmental issues.

This can be through education to ensure that sustainability is embedded into growth. Businesses can also create a culture among staff where sustainability is not an afterthought and use it to attract new customers and employees.

The UK has the technology to recycle waste locally and we are quickly finding ways to recycle more than we ever have before. Innovation and development do not have to have a high carbon impact, and a ’green Brexit’ will put us on the world stage for a very positive reason.

First Mile, with the investment, will be able to support more businesses with hassle-free waste collection, enabling them to save money and take control of their environmental responsibility post-Brexit.

Bruce Bratley, chief executive, First Mile

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