In 1991, Louise Hardman was leading a marine turtle research project with the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve in Coffs Harbour, Australia, on a turtle tagging program. She discovered a small green turtle that was dying a slow painful death from eating plastics hidden in the seagrass.
That turtle didn’t survive, but from that day Louise was determined to do something about the plastic waste epidemic. In memory of that day, the small green turtle is featured in Plastic Collective’s logo.
Today Louise is leading plastic educator, zoologist and science teacher, regularly speaking at international conferences and events about the need to address the global plastic waste epidemic.
Living in the small coastal village of Woolgoolga on the east coast of Australia, Louise developed a mobile recycling machine and an educational program focused on the chemistry of plastics and how to transform waste into valuable items. She started running workshops in how to transform plastic waste and ‘Know your Plastics’ seminars, as she developed the Plastic Collective business.
The goal was to help the world’s most vulnerable and remote communities whose lives and environments were being destroyed by plastic waste and where waste collection is mostly non-existent and plastic pollution is rampant.