What can the Kentucky Derby teach us about the scrap plastic recycling trade?

The Kentucky Derby took place on May 5. “The Run for the Roses” is a classic horse race run since 1874 that has become one of the most famous sporting events in the country, if not the world. What are some fun insights and inspiration that scrap plastic traders can take from this famous horse race?

  • A lot can change in only a few minutes. Every year, over 160,000 people crowd into Churchill Downs to watch a race that lasts only 2 minutes. The Kentucky Derby is known as the “fastest two minutes in sports.” In the same way, the scrap plastic business is highly time sensitive. If you don’t move fast, you can miss out on big opportunities. This is one of the reasons why we love working in the scrap plastic recycling trade – it’s dynamic, always changing, always evolving, and it rewards hustle and energetic drive.
  • Don’t count out the underdog. The favorite horse rarely wins the Kentucky Derby. Sometimes there’s a long-shot “dark horse” that comes from behind to upset everyone’s expectations. In the same way, in the plastic recycling industry, sometimes the biggest, best recognized suppliers are not always your best bet to deliver what you need. Sometimes there are big opportunities with lesser known partners or newer entrants to the business – but of course you need to do your due diligence.
  • Tradition counts for a lot, but you have to change with the times. The Kentucky Derby is still a highly popular event with a rich tradition behind it – in fact, in 2011 the Kentucky Derby had record attendance. But the sport of horse racing as a whole has been on the decline for years. Horse racing used to be one of America’s most popular spectator sports. Today, football is. No one can afford to be complacent or get too comfortable. Just because a certain sport or a certain company or a certain industry segment is highly popular and successful today doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. Part of our philosophy of innovation in the scrap plastic recycling trade is that we believe there are big opportunities to do things differently as plastic scrap traders that can cut costs, improve response times and create more efficient deals that benefit both sides of the transaction. We’re betting that in business, innovators will almost always win out over entrenched interests.
  • You’ve got to close down the stretch. One of the classic moments of the Kentucky Derby is when the race announcer calls out, “Here they come down the stretch” as the jockeys drive their horses to the finish line. This is the most crucial segment of the race, which separates winners from the also-rans. In the same way, in the scrap plastic recycling trade, there is a crucial moment in every deal where the deal can either get done or fall apart. As scrap plastic traders, you have to know the details, be confident in what you have to offer, and have a strong relationship with your trading partners to get deals done “down the stretch.”