Resourcing the Future Conference hooks in marine plastics expert

30 May 2018

Marine plastics expert Professor Richard Thompson OBE has been confirmed as keynote for day 2 of this year’s Resourcing the Future conference (RtF) among a flurry of recently confirmed, high-profile speakers.

Professor Richard Thompson (pictured) is head of the International Marine Litter Research Unit at Plymouth University and will be looking at solutions to this global environmental problem, which has had a recent spate of international media attention.

In 2014, Richard presented his research to the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, at his Our Ocean meeting in Washington; and his recent research contributed to parliamentary discussions on legislation to prohibit the use of microbeads in cosmetics. In 2017, he received the Marsh Award for Marine and Freshwater Conservation for his work on plastics; and was recognised in the New Year Honours List, with an OBE for services to Marine Science.

Joining Richard at this year’s RtF is the head of sustainable packaging for supermarket chain Iceland, Richard Parker. Richard will be speaking in the opening session on day 1 – which will tackle the themes set out by Defra in the forthcoming Resources & Waste Strategy:

  • maximising resource productivity – through more efficient manufacturing processes
  • maximising the value we get from resources throughout their lifetimes – by designing products more smartly to increase longevity and enable recyclability
  • managing materials at end of life – by targeting environmental impacts.

The latest additions to the speaker line-up include Tim Silman from Ipsos MORI on communications and how to capitalise on the “Blue Planet” effect, Dr Ioannis Hatzopoulos from Procter & Gamble on producer-led nappy recycling, and Keith Rundle from Bristol City BID on a new partnership approach to waste collection service for city centre businesses.

Defra At RtF

Defra recently announced that David Rutley MP has been temporarily appointed to replace Thérèse Coffey MP as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, as she recovers from a period of illness. While we await further details, Defra has confirmed, however, that a keynote speaker from Defra will be in attendance.

In addition, as part of its strong stakeholder engagement programme with the resources and waste sector over the past few months, a number of confirmed Defra speakers are taking part in the programme, including: Tom Murray, Head of Materials and Waste Evidence, in the ‘smarter targets’ session; Paul Bradley, Team Leader for Extended Producer Responsibility and Packaging Reform, in the EPR breakout session and Deputy Director for Waste & Recycling and Chris Preston, who is chairing the Zero avoidable plastic waste by 2042 session.

RtF 18 comes at a critical time for the sector and provides an unprecedented opportunity to discuss and shape future policy.

For more on what you can expect at this year’s conference click here.

To view the full programme and to book your place, click here.

CIWM Media Centre