June forum addresses environmental impacts of plastic

Plasticity 2014 to take place in New York City June 24.

May 13, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
The third annual Plasticity Forum has been scheduled for June 24, 2014, in New York City. Organizers of the event say it will present “the latest developments in waste as a resource, scalable innovations in plastic that save money, use of new materials, designing for sustainability and solutions for a world where plastic is used but without the footprint.”
The first two Plasticity forums took place in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 and in Hong Kong in 2013.
Topics at this year’s forum will focus on “innovation and collaboration in a material world,” and “innovations and scalable solutions for plastic, creating a world without the footprint,” according to Doug Woodring of the Ocean Recovery Alliance, one of the organizers and founder of the event.
Plasticity is designed to bring together “innovators, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, brand managers, educators, think tanks, government agencies, designers, angel investors and service industries to share their learnings, experience and future strategies” regarding the use and recycling of plastic, according to a news release from the event’s organizers.
This year’s forum will include a keynote presentation from Ron Gonen, CEO of the new Wal-Mart-connected Closed Loop Fund for recycling. Gonen formerly served as deputy commissioner of sanitation, recycling and sustainability for New York City. He will talk about the challenges and opportunities for companies and cities to create engaged recycling programs. 
Other speakers and their topics include:
  • Steve Davies, director of marketing and public affairs at packaging maker Nature Works, on “Plastics – Rethinking Where They’re From, What They Do, and Where They Go;"
  • Robert McKay, senior business manager of global sustainability at SABIC Innovative Plastics, on “Design and Sustainability for Scale in a Changing World;"
  • Mike Biddle, founder and director of MBA Polymers Inc., on “How to Scale, Sort and Drive Value'"
  • Steve Russell, vice president of the plastics division of the American Chemistry Council, on “Too Valuable to Waste: Rethinking Used Plastics”; and
  • Richard Mattison, CEO of resource and life cycle research firm Trucost, on “Valuing Plastic – The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Reporting.”
“Plastic doesn’t need to be a problem,” says Woodring. “There are solutions out there that can keep it from becoming waste, but we are not focusing on them in a scalable manner. The aim of Plasticity is to show who’s already doing it, how you can do it and how you can make it commercial.” 
Woodring says the one-day business event is about the future of plastic and where industry leaders are going with innovation, design, materials, recycling and solutions “so that plastic does not become a waste product [with] an impact on our communities and environment.”