Success story

Bantam Materials




London, UK

Bantam Materials and their Prevented Ocean Plastic brand make waves with Canto

Bantam Materials is on a mission to clean up the ocean with their Prevented Ocean Plastic brand, certified by Oceancycle. Bantam has reinvented the packaging supply chain. They source waste plastic bottles from developing countries to turn into RPET flake, a recycled material that well-known brands like Patagonia, The Body Shop, Lidl and Sainsbury’s all use in their packaging. Lidl GB won Retail Industry Awards’ Sustainable Initiative of the Year 2020 for the inclusion of Prevented Ocean Plastic™ packaging in their fish and poultry ranges.

Natasha Ward is Bantam’s Information Manager. Part of a small agile team, Natasha has diverse experience across the business. She’s covered logistics, financing and launched the company’s research center. Compliance is a key part of her role. Bantam is developing the largest commercial recycling programme in the world. To certify with Oceancycle, they need to completely trace each bottle’s journey.

The goal

Bantam Materials needed a better way to share the Prevented Ocean Plastic story

The result

With Canto, Bantam can distribute compelling visual assets at scale, using bespoke Portals for each customer

Goal: Organize and share compelling visual assets with customers and brands

The Bantam team travels to recyclers in Indonesia, South America and North Africa. On their visits, they capture images and videos to highlight the areas where plastic pollution is prevalent. Soon the team realized they had thousands of media assets for their marketing. Unfortunately, those assets were completely disorganised.

“As we started to build the program, we realized that a lot of this was useful content for our customers, for us and the brands we work with. They needed to see the extent of what’s actually going on in the environment and in other countries,” explains Natasha. “We realized that we actually had thousands of unfiled and random folders of photos from various trips that had taken place.”Bantam environment

Bantam had images and videos saved on servers, desktops and in Dropbox with no formal system in place to get them organized. Trawling through a colleague’s Dropbox could mean 45-minutes of searching to find a specific asset.

“Imagine trying to find a photo of something specific among 4,000” explains Natasha. “I used to have a horrendous desktop. I knew where everything was, but nobody else had a clue.” Natasha continues, “A lot of my work involves people asking for a photo of something that is like something else. Something vague. Being able to find images quickly is important to the efficacy of my role.”

Bantam has offices in the UK, Ireland and Canada and works with recyclers all over the world. They needed a global solution that could help manage thousands of incoming photos and videos. Natasha needed a tool to curate content for different audiences, and share assets easily.

“Worrying about how somebody could send in 3,000 photos they have taken on a supply trip, or how to share those assets, was using up a lot of the team’s brainpower. It was something we spoke about all the time,” says Natasha.

Enter Canto: More than a media library

Bantam identified Canto to bring together media assets in a searchable and centralized asset library.

“We didn’t realize how much content we had, or the sprawl. Canto consolidated so much. That was the most important benefit of Canto. Canto lets us visualize our library, rather than hiding assets away,” says Natasha. “There’s a lot of great content that we forgot existed. We show how the recycling process works, we do interviews with the recyclers – they got lost before.”

“The way that we categorize and store images now is such a step forward from what we were doing before. For the marketing team, it’s invaluable.”

Now all Bantam’s Prevented Ocean Plastic images are in one location and tagged with metadata. The team arranges assets into folders and Portals for each audience, such as manufacturers, brand assets, social media and PR. Canto’s advanced search makes it easy for Natasha and the team to find the images they are looking for.

Canto Portal - Programme Info Folder Structure

“The search function is so powerful. Now we wouldn’t be without it because we can very easily find the images we need thanks to tags. A customer would say, I want to see bottles from Indonesia, and you can find that within five seconds. It’s been a vital tool for us to showcase the amount of information that we have,” explains Natasha.

Enabling new business growth with Canto Portals

Bantam’s customers are manufacturers who supply retailers with punnets and packaging. Natasha uses Canto Portals to create customized media packages for each customer. Bantam’s Director Raffi Schieir uses this tool to win new business and build better customer relationships.

“Creating Portals as a selling tool has changed the nature of our business,” says Natasha. “We use the Portals to share all the images and videos that are relevant. We also add the extra documentation that’s tailored for the manufacturer. To get them on board, they need the compliance, regulatory and logistics stuff.”

Canto has also helped Bantam win new international business despite travel restrictions, putting all the information customers needed at their fingertips despite the physical distance.

“When COVID hit, it was clear we didn’t need to worry,” comments Natasha. “We can customize the Portal for each customer, show how easy Canto is to use and how interesting our content is” explains Natasha.

“Canto Portals are the added sweetener on top. The idea of sharing digital media this way impresses and excites everyone. It’s the final piece of the puzzle for customers that nobody else in the market offers. They are always impressed by it.”

Bantam Materials Canto Portal - Start Screen
Making customers into brand ambassadors

In their custom Portals, Bantam’s customers are able to find the media assets they need with Canto’s powerful search function. They and their partners can also add new media, using upload links to make sure it goes to the right place. The once-painful challenge of collecting and sharing selections of videos and images is no longer an issue.

Natasha explains, “When I run through Canto with customers, being able to type ‘bottle on a beach’ and have all these media assets populate has a big impact. It sounds simple, but it’s something that seems to make people happy. The powerful search function is very important.”

Portals have helped Bantam speed up the use of the Prevented Ocean Plastic brand by customers, who can include the logo on product packaging, for example. The Prevented Ocean Plastic brand and Bantam’s impactful visual assets are valuable for retailers who want to show off their green credentials.

“The idea that they can collaborate with us and have immediate access to assets is important,” says Natasha. “It’s changed the way our customers talk to brands about us. The hope is that the customers and brands will do more Prevented Ocean Plastic brand awareness.”

Bantam Materials Lidl Fish Selection

Streamlining agency workflows

Bantam works with an external PR team to help drive awareness of the Prevented Ocean Plastic brand in industry media. This external team has access to all Bantam’s videos and images at any time, anywhere in the world, through their PR Portal.

The PR agency can check their Portal for the latest approved plastic waste and collection photos. They can also see the latest guidelines and Oceancycle certifications.

“Transparency of information and transparency of the digital media has been one of the biggest wins and successes of our program. The program is very serious, heavily regulated and sustainability-focused,” explains Natasha. “When it comes to the branding and PR and marketing of it, Canto has changed everything for us. It’s been a huge success.”

Bantam press portal screenshot

The Portals have been a great success. Saying to customers ‘we have a bespoke portal for you where you can access all our digital media’ makes their eyes light up.

Natasha WardInformation Manager

Results: Effective personalized sharing at scale

With Canto, Bantam has one centralized and searchable library. This makes it easy to use and share the photos and videos that highlight the problem of plastic pollution.

Canto Portals have changed the way Bantam interacts with customers and brands. They can communicate personalized sets of digital assets at scale with Portals. This enables them to attract new customers, build better customer relationships and raise the profile of the Prevented Ocean Plastic brand.

Natasha concludes, “It gets the message out there. It saves so much time. It helps us on our mission. We share with all the people and brands that we want to involve in Preventing Ocean Plastic, at scale. Without question, we wouldn’t be able to do that effectively if we didn’t have Canto.”

Bantam materials Canto Portal - RC & Digital Asset Sharing