Originally from Canada, Raffi moved to the UK in 2011, taking a hands-on approach to understanding the problems and solutions around plastic pollution as he established Bantam Materials UK. Working with the best global thought leaders in recycling, he went on to create the vertically-integrated supply chain that is the market-leading Prevented Ocean Plastic programme.
Since that time, the programme has prevented almost two billion bottles from reaching the ocean, been nominated for the Earthshot Prize, supplied the NHS, and grown into an award-winning initiative that works in partnership with global brands ranging from Lidl to LVMH. Prevented Ocean Plastic delivers best-in-class traceability and responsible sourcing with the highest quality and clarity available. This plastic has a second life as new products on the shelves of socially responsible partners such as Patagonia and Lush.
In January 2020, Raffi and his team established the Prevented Ocean Plastic Research Centre to establish data-based truths for recycling culture change. Projects include collating first collector demographics, exploring the movement of litter from land to sea, and understanding consumer purchasing behaviour with regard to recycled materials. These efforts inform the current mission to establish 25 new collection centres on at-risk coastlines by 2025, bringing more than 50,000 tonnes of otherwise uncollected plastic back into the supply chain each year.
Raffi has served as chair of Europe’s main plastic recycling conference (ICIS 2017), and been nominated for numerous awards, including the Recycling Ambassador Europe and Environmental Champion 2023.