Jesse here, Trash Panda's Founder 👋
Today, we have an incredible team of people that keeps us at the forefront of sustainability in disc golf — but it wasn't always that way.
I started Trash Panda in 2020 out of my garage in Littleton, Colorado.. but the idea for Trash Panda really came in 2008.
As a passionate disc golfer, I started to wonder why more recycled plastics weren’t used in the sport—like what about a disc made from trash found in a landfill? or the ocean?!
So naturally… I did nothing.
For 12 years, I waited for someone else to do something.
Over that time, I became a content consumer (read: I watch way too much YouTube), I grew as a maker, I started to give a damn about our planet, and I became (even more) enamored with disc golf. The collision of these things slowly laid the groundwork for Trash Panda—which is now equal parts my passion and my pleasure.
From day one, Trash Panda has been—and will always be—a movement of people committed to growing the sport sustainably.
Welcome to the movement.
How we got here
I created the Trash Panda YouTube Channel, and released the first video about making a 100% recycled disc.
In order to make disc from 100% recycled plastic, I made a DIY injection machine in my garage. (Spoiler alert: it took a lot of elbow-grease and it didn't really work.)
After months of problem solving, I completed my first disc made from 100% recycled plastic.
Did it feel good in the hand? No. Did it mean I was on to something? Ohhh yeah.
From day one I wanted to make a video about how a disc is made, and now that we were a few prototypes in, I could. (Spoiler alert: it turned out I wasn't the only one who wanted to see behind the curtain.)
A couple of months later, our first mini drop was a surprise to the public and we had to close orders after 3 hours with 1,000 minis sold. For the rest of the year, we were only able to keep inventory on our site for just over a cumulative three days.
It was a wild year.
After the craziness of 2021, we finally got back to prioritizing our disc prototypes and made our infamouse "Bubblegum Galaxy" disc.
After 5,000 minis individually made in the garage, we teamed up in early 2022 with a local manufacturer who has since become our dream partner.
In the middle of 2022, the final prototype for what we know as the Inner Core was completed.
The second I threw it, I knew it was time to make the industrial mold.
It was time for the big leagues so we upgraded from our $500 garage mold to a $50,000 industrial-grade mold for the Inner Core.
The Inner Core and the first ever 100% recycled disc officially got PDGA Approved, and we're that much closer to releasing our first disc to the world.
In preparation for launching our first disc, we officially moved out of the beloved garage and into our first warehouse!
A dream 2+ years in the making was officially realized when we released our first disc made from 100% recycled plastic to the world: the Inner Core.