Biffa is offering a £10,000 prize in its ‘Change Makers’ competition

UK sustainable waste management company, Biffa, has launched a nationwide search for its next Change Maker, as part of its What Iff campaign.

One sustainably minded entrepreneur using waste to create new products or improve existing recycling rates, further enabling the UK’s circular economy, will be awarded £10,000 and tailored business support.

Biffa will collaborate with the winner to assess the support required and how it will be best used. That might be finding space to work from, logistical advice or a marketing strategy. 

There’s no need to own an established business, either. Biffa wants to hear from anyone with a sustainable idea or skill which could grow into something more. All the company asks is that the candidate is passionate about reusing and / or recycling, giving new life to waste materials. 

Ultimately, in setting out to answer the question ‘What iff brand new was old news?’, Biffa aims to encourage the nation to see waste differently and unlock the potential value of waste materials. 

How to enter

Prospective Change Makers can apply by recording a 60-second video. They need to explain their business concept, why they believe themselves to be a Change Maker and how Biffa can help. Videos should be submitted via WeTransfer to along with a completed submission form via the website.

The judging process 

The deadline for entries is 30th April, when a panel of Biffa and external judges will shortlist a final five. The ultimate decision will be down to the public, who can vote via Biffa’s website and social channels. The worthy winner will then be announced at Biffa’s Waste Net Zero event in June 2024.  

How life changed for one Change Maker 

Biffa’s unique expertise has the potential to help an entrepreneur unlock value through waste and enable a micro circular economy in their area. Its existing Change Maker, Kate Doran and her small business Flotsam Flo, knows this all too well after joining forces with the company last year. 

Kate upcycles waste into unique yet stylish bags, accessories and gifts. Based in Cornwall, Flotsam Flo originally sourced materials with beach items like wetsuits and inflatables. Partnering with Biffa means Kate now receives waste from businesses and holiday parks in her local area. The only condition is that the item must be broken or no longer have a use, so it’s the very last resort before disposal.   

While the products took Etsy by storm, Biffa’s help enabled Kate to set up a Flotsam Flo eCommerce website. Biffa Cornwall has provided a studio space within the Redruth depot in addition to materials, resources and logistical support.

Kate Doran commented: “My skillset can help organisations think smarter about their waste, but I don’t have a background in business. My partnership with Biffa has helped me build resources, skills and understanding of circular business models, so I can grow Flotsam Flo and bring my offering to more customers who are trying to cut their waste. Partnerships like ours can give all businesses a boost to support a circular economy.”

Biffa’s Chief Operations Officer, Maxine Mayhew, further commented: “At Biffa, we see the potential value in surplus and waste, and work closely with businesses to help them unlock this value through redistribution, reuse and recycling.   

“We’re proud to now be taking take this a step further by launching the Change Makers competition so a likeminded entrepreneur can benefit from the £10,000 prize and our expert support – whether we’re boosting an existing sustainable venture or kickstarting a new one. 

“We believe that innovation often starts at a local level. That’s why we’re eager to find budding entrepreneurs with, or aspiring to have, small businesses that will make a difference in their community with our help. Our aim is to enable micro circular economies across the country.”