Jonathan Straight is a purposeful entrepreneur best known for founding and running Straight plc, the UK’s leading supplier of waste and recycling containers which he headed for 21 years before exiting in 2014. As well as starting the business from scratch he floated it on the London Stock Exchange and successfully made the transition from distributor to manufacturer.
Jonathan is also a trustee of a number of local charities and social enterprises including The Tetley contemporary art gallery, creativity charity IVE and waste management charity, WasteAid. He previously chaired food recyclers The Real Junk Food Project and was a director of Wasterwise for more than 10 years. He is a mentor and investor in start-ups as well as holding non-executive positions on a number of boards. He is retained as Brand Ambassador to Surplus Group, a commercial food redistributor.
There is also a creative side to Jonathan, who is a published and exhibited photographer, specialising in street and reportage black and white photography. He has appeared on Leeds TV talking about the history of the City and is currently writing a book of his experiences. Recognised by his waxed moustache and ponytail, Jonathan also has a collection of around 350 pairs of eclectic spectacles.
Jonathan’s profile photograph was taken by University of Leeds Media student, Caitlin Pharoah O’Reilly, who Jonathan has mentored in relation to starting her own photography business!
Caitlin and Jonathan