2020 Speakers

Hannah Blythyn AM, Deputy Minister, Housing and Local Government

Hannah Blythyn is from Flintshire in North East Wales. A proud North Walian she went to school in the constituency she now serves. Hannah was elected as Assembly Member for Delyn for the first time at the 2016 election.

In her first eighteen months in the Assembly she chaired the Cross Party Group for North Wales and the Mersey Dee Alliance and sat on the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills and the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committees.

Prior to being elected, Hannah led on political and policy work for Unite Wales, active in a number of successful campaigns that led to legislative action and positive change both in Wales and across the UK. She is also a former co-chair of LGBT Labour and was active in the campaign for equal marriage. On 13 December 2018 Hannah was appointed Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government.

Outside of politics, Hannah likes spending time outdoors and is a keen cyclist, having previously taking part in a charity bike ride across Kenya.


Sian Sykes, Adventurer, SUP Specialist, Environmentalist and Public Speaker

Sian Sykes was born on the edge of Snowdonia and enjoyed growing up in beautiful North Wales. During her adult life, she used to work in Creative Media in London as a Project Director.  She then changed career and returned to Wales.

She is now activist, she is passionate about raising awareness about single use plastics, inspiring communities to make positive changes. She was the lead for helping Anglesey to achieve the Surfers Against Sewage, Plastic Free Community Status, the first county in the UK to achieve the grassroots roots movement.


Jason Airey, Managing Director, CMS Supatrak

Jason setup CMS SupaTrak in 1996 and CMS has become the leading telematics supplier to UK waste sector providing factory fit OE solutions for Denis Eagle, Johnston Sweepers (Bucher Municipal) and Hako.

Jason leads a team of world leading engineers designing and manufacturing vehicle telematics systems and has been helping manufacturers and customers maximise the efficiency of their electric vehicles.


Costa Athanatos, Business Account Manager, WRAP

Costa Athanatos is a Chartered member of CIWM and has worked in the waste and resource industry for 15 years.  As part of his role, he is responsible for engaging with manufacturers, offering support to embrace circular economy thinking by introducing or increasing the use of recycled materials in their process.

Costa is responsible managing WRAP Cymru’s projects to demonstrate how the manufacturing supply chain can overcome technical and commercial barriers to introducing recycled content into products. Prior to joining WRAP Cymru, Costa worked for Wardell Armstrong and JACOBS Engineering as an environmental consultant for 10 years.

Costa has been a Business Account Manager with WRAP Cymru for 3 years working in the Organisational Behaviour Change programme.

Masters degree in Sustainable Waste Management and Bachelors in Environmental Science.


Julia Chesney-Roberts, Commercial Manager, Riversimple

Julia Chesney-Roberts is Commercial Manager at Riversimple Movement Ltd, with specific responsibility for strategic projects, governance and commercial activities. She heads up Circular Economy activities within the company, and is leading on a European bid for a Circular Economy Innovation Centre with Swansea University and the University of Exeter.

Julia has over 15 years of commercial experience, providing operational, strategic and regulatory business support to SMEs in the UK and globally. She holds a law degree, and is currently studying for an MBA at Warwick University.


Karen Dancey, Director of Marketing, Repair Café Wales

A professionally qualified, marketing and business development specialist, Karen brings expertise across a broad range of sectors – delivering consumer and business-to-business marketing and communications to the Repair Cafe Wales team. Project management skills have been key in delivering success in positions at McCann Erickson; the BBC; University of Wales and Tata Steel.  A contract commission for Forestry Commission Wales first ignited a latent interest in sustainability.

Karen has a real passion for strategy; brand management; campaign planning and implementation.

But, what makes Karen tick? Project management and team playing – her core values embrace fairness, honesty, efficiency and making things better.  In addition to her Board Director role, she can often be found in the community, hosting at repair cafés across South Wales.


John L Davies, Head of Operational Improvement, Frontier Medical Group

John has worked at Frontier Medical Ltd. for 25 years and currently has responsibility for Operational Improvement.  Frontier has a manufacturing base at Blackwood, South Wales, and produces medical products including the ‘Sharpsafe’ range, Europe’s most popular sharps disposal containers.

Having trained originally as an engineer, John has a masters degree in Rapid Product Development and led the developed of much of the current product range.  This depth of experience makes John ideally positioned to represent the UK on the International Standards Committee responsible for developing the latest version of ISO 23907 - the international standard for Sharps containers.


Adrian Evans, Advisor on Waste Crime, Natural Resources Wales

Adrian Evans is an Advisor on Waste Crime at Natural Resources Wales. Adrian has 15 years’ experience in environmental regulation and tackling environmental crime.


Andy Graves, Product Marketing Manager – Chassis, Dennis Eagle

Andy joined the RCV manufacturing industry in 1972 and has been part of the engineering team at Dennis Eagle since 1991.

His vast experience in the sector has now positioned him with a unique role, having input into product design, development and production, all the way through to marketing of refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) and specialist HGV chassis.


Paul Irwin-Rhodes, SHE and External Affairs Manager, Greggs

Paul is the External Affairs Manager at Greggs. Although originally qualifying as an Industrial Chemist, Paul moved into Safety, Health and Environmental management within the chemical industry for a period before taking a similar role within Greggs. More recently, Paul has taken on the role of External Affairs Manager, supporting the business in driving its Sustainability strategy.

Externally, Paul sits on a number of trade associations and sector groups supporting the retail industry in sustainable business practices. Away from work, Paul and his wife spend the majority of their time looking after their 6 children, meaning time for anything else is always considered a ‘luxury’.


Cerys Jones, Co-Founder and Company Secretary – Operations, Repair Café Wales

Cerys has responsibility for project managing the opening of 8 new repair cafés across south Wales. Cerys also handles the day-to-day operations of the organisation and is the first point of contact for all enquiries.

Cerys’ early career was spent with boutique executive search firm The Winchester Partnership, working with global manufacturing, sport and automotive clients. Having worked in New York, London and Sydney, she joined Savills Plc before joining financial services business Principality Building Society.

Alongside Repair Cafe Wales, Cerys manages Benthyg (Wales’ first library of things) and is the co-founder and Operations Director for Pegasus Ultra Running. She has utilised over 20 years’ worth of experience to lay the foundations of all three organisations by implementing processes, systems, data capture and the highest standard of customer service.


Dr Rachel Lilley, Behaviour Change Specialist, Behavioural Insight Centre at Aberystwyth University

Currently a PhD candidate in Human Geography at Aberystwyth University. Over 20 years’ experience working  on environmental, individual and organisational change

I work with mainly public and some private sector clients on behaviour change and mindfulness, sometimes together and sometimes separately.  Over the past few years clients have included: Ogilvy Mather, WWF, New Forest Parks Authority, Global Action Plan, New Economics Foundation,  Kambe Events,  Ceredigion County, Aberystwyth University, Coleg Ceredigion.

I have also worked intensively with the Welsh Government as part of a research programme, developing and delivering innovative approaches to project and organisational development using behaviour change and mindfulness. Teams included: Climate Change, Education, Housing Regulation, Agriculture and Environment, Economy and Transport and Strategic Budgeting. Behaviour change and mindfulness academic (MPhil, PhD Cand, Research Associate) Advanced skills in training, coaching and facilitation.


Robert Little, Chair, CIWM Cymru Wales

Robert is the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management in Wales and the Chairman of WAMITAB, the waste industry trading board.  He is a partner in the MSS Group, a Welsh based support services business and Non- Executive Director of a number of local and regional businesses.


Paula Massey, Director, UMT Care

Passionate about helping to reduce the waste of community care equipment, whilst making a positive impact to veterans lives who may have PTSD & mental health conditions, along with disabled people and those furthest from the work force.


Sinead Murphy, Business Account Manager, WRAP

Sinéad Murphy is a Business Account Manager at WRAP working on Wrap Cymru’s public sector circular procurement support programme.  The aim of the programme is to drive the demand for products with recycled content and products for reuse through public sector procurement. Sinéad works with public sector organisations to identify opportunities for intervention and provides technical support to those teams responsible for procurement.

Sinéad has over 20 years of experience working in the environmental and sustainability sectors in Ireland, Australia and the UK and has been with WRAP Cymru for 3 years working on WRAPs sustainable textiles and public sector sustainable procurement programmes.


Luisa Pastore, Senior Manager – Strategic Marketing and Communications, WRAP Cymru

Luisa Pastore leads WRAP Cymru’s citizen behaviour change campaigns together with strategic marketing and communications for WRAP as a whole. She has over 20 years’ media, marketing and communications experience, including at BBC Worldwide, Office for National Statistics, Trinity Mirror, Learning & Skills Council and Guardian Media Group; and at the Welsh Government she managed communications for the launch of Towards Zero Waste. Over recent months she and her team have been working closely with the Welsh Government, WLGA and local authorities to develop Wales’ biggest recycling campaign, and she’s looking forward to sharing their plans with delegates.


Roger Phillips, Managing Director, Capital Valley Plastics

Managing Director and owner of Capital Valley Plastics Ltd and EMC Recycling Ltd. Worked for the company for over 26 years, 16 years of that time employed as sales director. In 2011 successfully lead a management buyout of Capital Valley Plastics Ltd.

The company had a single production line when I started in 1993, we now boast 5 production lines with a new line planned for 2020.

Having been managing director for over 9 years the company has continually expanded around 15% year on year. Successfully introducing a new product range to the market under the company brand RADBAR. The company has a product range to rival all competitors. March 2018 Capital Valley Plastics introduced a new recycling plant to recover flexible polythene sheeting with a capacity of over 9000 tonnes per year all of the material recycled is produced into Membranes for the construction industry.


Alex Robinson, Managing Director, Hubbub Enterprise

Alex is Managing Director of Hubbub Enterprise, the social enterprise arm of environmental charity Hubbub.

Hubbub is a charity known for its playful, positive campaigns that inspire ways of living that are good for the environment. Current partners include Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, and Marks & Spencer.

Hubbub Enterprise takes creative inspiration from its parent charity and scales its successful experiments. That means running Plastic Fishing trips in Canary Wharf, making and selling the innovative voting ashtray the Ballot Bin all around the world, and running major recycling campaigns across the UK, among much else.

After a successful career as an entrepreneur in the music industry, Alex turned to his passion for environmental issues and social enterprise. He thereby joined a very small group of people who have run projects for both Snoop Dogg and the Royal Bank of Scotland. He has spent the last two years building Hubbub’s commercial arm into fast-growing social enterprise, winning the NatWest SE100 Award for Storytelling, among various other awards.


Simon Rutledge, Group Sustainability & External Affairs Manager, Biffa

Simon has over 25 years of experience within waste management and the wider safety and environmental and sustainability management field, working within the regulatory and policy making arena. At a wider industry level, Simon is chair of the Welsh Environmental Services Association group WESA and sits on the board of the Scottish Environmental Services Association SESA whilst also representing Biffa at the ESA Regulation and Bio-waste treatment Group. Simon is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and a Chartered Environmentalist.