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Edward Douglas Miller 






Edward Douglas-MillerEdward Douglas Miller, the inventor of Remarkable (a recyclable pencil), is an environmentalist who was brought up in a rural village near Edinburgh. He says he used to collect insects and butterflies when he was a kid.


The son of Robbie and Judy Douglas-Miller, this inventor learnt first-hand about environmental issues when he went to Kenya for a year, working on a game ranch. After coming back (he had completed his A levels before going to Kenya), he went to the Royal Agricultural College, where he studied farming and the economy. However, he found that working on a farm was not something he wanted to do.

So, the future inventor went and worked in the city for a year or so, and then studied for some management courses. The he returned with his passion for environment. It is when he worked at Savewood, a recycling company, that his mind began conceiving the invention.

Douglas Miller started working on turning a plastic cup into a pencil, formalizing the product under the company name Remarkable in 1996. He then spent the next two years experimenting with the production process and improving his invention, all the while paying his own rent and bills by doing odd jobs. The inventor had to work for 16 hour days during this period.

For supplying the plastic cups needed for producing his invention, he chose a company called Save A Cup, which had a nationwide campaign to get offices to collect their polystyrene cups.

Still, the company Remarkable made a loss of 15,000 pounds in its first year. However, the change of government brought luck to this inventor. The Design Council, after the Labor Party came to power, began an initiative to identify 2000 pioneering companies that would lead innovation in the next millennium. Remarkable was selected, dramatically increasing the company’s sales. His invention was made the International Invention of the Year – this helped him a lot.

Now, the inventor’s company has a turnover of 3.5 million pounds.

His secret of success in his words: “belief, focus and commitment and an overpowering sense that the planet is unsustainable unless we make significant changes.”

His advice to future inventors: “If you are in business, you are in business. So keep an eye on that side of things. Most importantly, believe in yourself and believe in your company”.


Hugely successful eco-inventor and businessman Ed Douglas Miller has a unique mission in life: to educate Britain to be more environmentally responsible by using UK manufactured and UK recycled, funky and innovative every day eco-products. His eco-manufacturing and retail business Remarkable does just that; and is built on the success of years of new inventions and quirky designs.

Now, at the age of 45, having spent 15 years driving his own business with passion and pioneering spirit, Ed is about to give away thousands of pounds of his own money as he embarks on a new challenge as a Secret Millionaire. Ed leaves behind his family and his home to travel to Norwich for episode 3 of the Channel 4 programme now airing on Sundays at 9pm.

During his time undercover, Ed lived on job seekers allowance in one of the most deprived areas of Norfolk, with high levels of poverty, hardship and unemployment. He goes on a very personal journey to meet people who need his help.

All of the people Ed met have told their own story of courage and triumph over tragedy. The whole experience was an incredibly emotional journey leaving a very real feeling that these events could happen to anyone of us at any time.

Ed said, “The people who I met whilst filming the show have truly inspired and amazed me. The wonderful volunteers, who are giving their time and their money selflessly to help others, are all people that Britain should be extremely proud of. I am in awe of their never ending energy and determination – they truly are remarkable people.”


Research note:
Robert Peter Douglas Miller was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) For services to Wildlife Conservation in Scotland. (Haddington, East Lothian) in the 2021 New Year's Honours. Presumably Ed's father, Robbie?



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