Whether it’s a fancy Michelin-starred restaurant or a roadside food truck, PlasticScore is on a mission to “bring an end to trashy dining,” says co-founder Mladen Gajic.
Gajic is an engineer who thrives at solving problems across different industries. Specifically, he’s served as a UX Developer for the United Launch Alliance, an American spacecraft launch service provider that manufactures rocket vehicles. While these vehicles are launched and orbited to other bodies in the Solar System, Gajic is still very committed to applying his tech skills to improving planet Earth.
“I’m an engineer who thrives on solving problems to make a positive impact in the world,” says Gajic.
His passion for the circular economy, reducing waste and energy conservation led him to launch PlasticScore, a Denver-based crowdsourcing app that rates restaurants based on their usage of plastic and single-use items. The company’s goal is to hold the food industry accountable and reduce the overall waste it generates.
“I believe our platform can have a tremendous impact in driving restaurants to be more sustainable,” says Gajic, “and stop the endless stream of single-use plastic which pollutes our oceans, contaminates our food and water, and contributes to climate change.”
He and his co-founders, Tim Furlong and Paul Fuqua, created the company in 2019 to encourage a zero-waste culture for restaurants. “We fund the recovery of plastic waste for every ‘sustainability review,’ and use the data to help create a world-free of plastic pollution,” says Gajic.
The team designed its website, PlasticScore.co, as a hub for transparency and eco-friendly information. From sharing the company’s best practices for collecting restaurant data, to providing restaurant owners with the right tools to go plastic free one and for all, they’re also ready to scale up impact. They provide a direct link to the PlasticScore app as well as an ambassador program and a nonprofit partnership platform. They say they opted for a .co business website for a reason. “It allowed us to get our name – PlasticScore – as our domain, and given its recent growth in popularity, we felt it was a good choice,” he says.
So far the company is gaining traction and recognition, but the road to growth hasn’t always been so smooth. Says Gajic, “One of our toughest challenges has been making
sure our rating is environmentally rigorous, while making it simple enough to be crowdsourced and be able to scale across the world.”
The PlasticScore team isn’t letting any challenges stop them from their goal. Its co-founders encourage other aspiring entrepreneurs to do the same.
Gajic offers more words of wisdom for founders looking to disrupt any industry: “Consider the advice of others, but trust your gut and your vision. By definition, if you’re creating something new, it won’t be obvious to everyone that it can work.”