James is an angel investor and has an unpaid advisory role with the company founded by Phil Ahn, a Korean-American entrepreneur, with co-founder Jett Yang. It is an exciting project to produce cheaper, stronger asphalt using waste products. Its unique “modified sulphur” technology uses plastic waste (such as drinks bottles and polythene bags) as aggregate. The same type of modified sulfur binder technology is used by the United States Military and oil companies such as Shell Global but ESLI believe they have a better and more economical proposition.
It has significant community benefit in reducing local authority costs, as well as reducing the amount of plastic in landfill and floating in the oceans. The technology is forecast to save billions in the years ahead and James is advising on spreading the cost-cutting benefits from the United States, where ESLI is based, to the UK. In 2016 he was given the status of “Co-Founder” and invited to be Chairman of its Board of Directors to “help us sail in the right direction and stay focused” and offered a symbolic share of equity to show the founders' respect and appreciation.
This transformative solution has caught the imagination and interest of San Francisco Public Works (America’s leading city in reducing and recycling waste materials) and Recology Company, a leading waste management company. Together they are poised to ‘disrupt’ a multi-billion dollar industry by commercialising a solution that saves precious tax dollars and protects the environment. James met the heads of both San Francisco Public Works and Recology on a visit in April 2017.
With eight million tons of plastic waste dumped into the ocean each year, this will help to make the world a better place. This is a ‘regenerative circular company’ where waste (even un-recyclable waste) is put back into the value chain as valuable resource.