Plastic Collective Asian Conference Tour
Last week Plastic Collective team members touched down in Asia again to participate in the Sea of Solutions conference in Bangkok, an initiative from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), with support from the Swedish Government.
The 4 day conference saw dynamic dialogue on many issues ranging from the plastic trade, second life markets and recovery, circular economy, packaging and e-commerce.
COBSEA brought together governments, business leaders, scientists, UN agencies and community groups, discussing actions and solutions for marine plastic pollution and creating connections to effect change for the environment and human health.
On the final day of the conference, Louise Hardman, Plastic Collective Founder and CEO, participated in the panel discussion “Take it Back! Bring it Back!: Solutions for illegal trade in plastic waste”. Representatives from across the plastic value chain discussed many solutions and agreed that creating value in post-use plastic at the local level is most beneficial in reducing marine litter and land-based plastic pollution and that to achieve this requires a shift in thinking – a core principle of Plastic Collectives community focused solutions.
Louise created a wave of discussion that swept the conference when she told the audience;
“We’ve got a fundamental flaw in our language; we’re calling it plastic waste. Every time we call it plastic waste, we don’t give it value. To change behaviour, we need to change the perceived value of materials. I call it resources; plastic resources”
Louise is a strong campaigner for changing the way plastic is perceived. Currently, it is tossed away like trash and treated as waste as it is seen as worthless and having no economic value. The result is the majority of plastic is not being recycled and is ending up in the environment as waste. For us to solve this problem — improve lives and the environment we must change the economics.
After an inspiring 4 days, our team has now landed in Singapore continuing their Asia Conference journey and are today in attendance at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development.
CIRCULARITY 2030: TOWARDS ZERO WASTE. NEXT GENERATION LEADERS. CIRCULAR ECONOMY JOBS OF THE FUTURE will seek commitments to scaling the start-ups, innovations and technologies like that of Plastic Collective. The aim is to support and to drive the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals related to the circular economy, another core principle of Plastic Collective.
We are eager to hear from the next generation of leaders and thinkers from business schools and universities around the world as they explore how circular economy ideas and models can be used to transform businesses, boost future job creation and help societies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
Following Circularity 2030, the PC team will be taking part in CSR Asia – Sustainable Tourism Forum where Louise will be engaging stakeholders as a guest speaker on the effects of plastic pollution on tourism.
In collaboration with Marina Bay Sands Singapore and Visa, the CSR Asia forum will explore solutions for the tourism and hospitality industry’s most pressing issues including packaging, food waste, the circular economy and more.
Our purpose at Plastic Collective is to show people how to find value in plastics as a resource, to understand which plastics can be recycled or recovered, and provide solutions to eliminate those which can’t be, thus preventing disposal of plastics. This will create sustainable circular economies which no longer rely on the ‘take-make-dispose’ attitude.