The eye-watering results of Greenpeace’s recent Big Plastic Count show that, of 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging thrown away by households across the country every year, just 12% is recycled here in the UK. We sat down with plastic-free entrepreneur Simon Irons to talk about the big issues. After a career in buying and supply chain management for large businesses such as Asda, Argos and Halfords, Simon turned the skills he learned in the corporate world towards reducing the mass of plastic packaging that families in Derbyshire are throwing away every week from their grocery shop.

Find out more about Simon

This podcast is brought to you by the University of Derby

And the Low Carbon Business Network

The DE-Carbonise programme was a collaboration between the University of Derby, Derby City and Derbyshire County Councils, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) between 2016-2022.


We'd love to hear more about your business. Please get in touch at

[email protected]

This podcast is produced by Seed

About the Hosts

Fred Paterson

Fred Paterson is Associate Professor for Sustainable Business at University of Derby Business School and leads the Low Carbon Business Network which offers business support to pro-environmental SMEs across the East Midlands. He has responsibility for the Sustainable Business and Clean Growth research group which strives to develop robust, applied, impactful and place-based research and knowledge exchange. Fred also led the Derbyshire Net Zero Accelerator and DE-Carbonise Smart Factory project between 2016-2022.

Jonny Prest

Jonny Prest is a brand strategist who helps solve problems, unite teams and drive brands forward. By encouraging leaders across the globe to think about and act upon the most important things within their organisations, he explore new ideas and innovates. From environmental to social, his role is to help leaders build brand and communication strategies with purpose. He specialises in enlightened brand strategy. It's brand building with a conscience: remodelling brands to leverage skills and resources for the protection of our planet and its people.

Useful Links

Carbon trust


Zero Carbon Business UK

SME Climate Hub

Zero Carbon Pathways

Films on Netflix

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