April 11, 2022
Yara Bakker

Meet the team: Pablo, our Business Developer

We are building more sustainable communities with a small but dedicated team. In this rubric, we give each member of our team the chance to introduce themselves to you. Last week, Riccardo told you all about his life. This week, it is Pablo’s turn, our Business Developer.

Although you can find short introductions of our team members on the “About us” page, we thought it was about time for you to get to know us a bit better. Last week, Riccardo told you all about his life. This week, Pablo will take you along on his journey at Byewaste, sharing his vision on sustainability and our company.

Hi there! Who are you? Tell us something about yourself!

Hey! My name is Pablo. I’m 23 years old and I’m Byewaste’s Business Developer. I live in The Hague, which is great as I’m only a 10-minute bike ride away from a surf session.

Besides surfing, there are lots of other things that I’m passionate about. For example, I’m really into music – I love to go to concerts and festivals. I also play guitar and drums in my free time.

Being out in nature is something else that I love, which is in turn connected to my passion for sustainability. Lastly, I enjoy art a lot and I’m also in a soccer team.

Pablo Vermeulen

What do you do at Byewaste?

Within Byewaste I’m responsible for expanding our service to new municipalities. This means that I’m in touch with a lot of municipalities and other possible partners.

We want to give as many citizens as possible the opportunity to get rid of their old items in an easy and sustainable way. By doing so, we can save even more valuable items and increase our positive impact.

This only works when our service runs smoothly and when it is strengthened by strong partnerships. Therefore, it’s definitely a team effort!

How did you end up at Byewaste?

Last summer I graduated from Erasmus University Rotterdam, where I completed a master in Global Business and Sustainability. I was eager to start working somewhere where I could truly make a positive impact.

Not long after I started my job search, Byewaste’s CEO Tommaso reached out to me. A sustainable startup in waste prevention and recycling seemed like the perfect place to start. It aligned with my passion for sustainability and gave me the opportunity to truly contribute within a company while learning a lot about the different aspects of a sustainable business.

Climate Change Demonstration

Why did you want to work for the company?

Like I said, sustainability is very important to me. I’ve always appreciated the beauty of nature, so when I learned about the negative environmental consequences of our society’s lifestyle, I knew I had to do something about it.

In an era of mass-consumption, maximising reuse and recycling is one of the most important things to do to tackle this problem.

What do you like most about your job?

Working with like-minded people! Whether it’s within Byewaste or when speaking to partners, we all realise the importance of tackling the waste problem. Sure, all businesses need to make money to survive, but it’s great to see that that’s not everyone’s main goal.

And what do you like least about it?

It can take quite some time to realise expansion opportunities or to offer new services to our users. Of course, we do not want to rush things as we want to ensure a high level of quality, but sometimes it feels like these things could progress faster.

However, I do realise that we’re a startup and thus able to move a lot quicker than most established companies or organisations. Ultimately, I just want to make a positive impact and factors hindering this can be a little frustrating at times.

A hand holding a plant

Why do you think that people should start recycling more?

Because there’s so much value being lost right now when items are thrown away. Think of all the raw materials, labour, emittance and transport it costs to make them. It’s a shame if all that effort goes to waste.

In general, I think we should become more aware of this and make sure to reuse or recycle as much as possible. After all, we’re living in a finite ecosystem which does have its limits!

What is the nicest item that you have ever thrifted?

Breakfast in America on vinyl. It’s my favourite Supertramp record and I’m convinced it’s one of the best records of all time.

Most people will recognize Goodbye Stranger or Breakfast in America, but it’s definitely worth your time to listen to the album from start to finish. My dad will probably be proud when he reads this, as he’s a big fan too and the one who got me into Supertramp (and many other bands).

Other great records I’ve thrifted are the Beatles’ Blue Album, Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy a Thrill and ELO’s Out of the Blue.


When would you have especially benefited from a service like Byewaste yourself?

I try to buy as little new items as possible, but I still have a lot of stuff lying around which I don’t use anymore. Clothes, old electronics, you name it.

I don’t want to throw them away in the residual trash as I know that’s harmful, but I also haven’t made the effort yet to bring them to the right place. Byewaste isn’t available yet where I live, but as soon as it is I will use it straight away!

How are you contributing to a more sustainable future in your personal life?

There’s many things I do to live sustainably, some big, some small. One of the bigger things is that I stopped buying new clothes about two years ago, as the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Moreover, there’s so much good clothes to be found at vintage stores or online platforms.

I also try to eat very little meat. I do really enjoy it, so I decided to still eat meat when I’m eating at a restaurant, but not at home. I think it’s important to realise that it’s not “all-or-nothing” when it comes to sustainability.

Yes, I do have a lot of respect for vegetarians and vegans as they’re making the biggest impact, but this does not mean that eating less meat isn’t contributing at all. Similarly, it’s better to avoid flying, but doing it once instead of three times a year also helps a lot.

Reusable bag with oranges

Which sustainable habit would you like to apply in your daily life?

I think I live quite a sustainable life right now, but I could be more careful when buying new things. Whether it’s groceries or other items, I often don’t fully know how it’s made or where it comes from.

Ultimately, I hope it becomes the producers’ responsibility to ensure and communicate sustainable production. But up until then, I think it’s important to consider the origin and environmental impact of what you’re buying.