[B.Science (Zoology/Anthropology), Mac.Uni Syd;
Grad.Cert Env. Ed, Griffith Uni, Bsb;
Dip.Ed (Sec.Science- Chem. / Bio.) UNE Armidale]
Louise Hardman is the founder of Plastic Collective, a social enterprise determined to stop plastics entering the oceans. Louise is a scientist, educator and innovator, who has become an expert in grassroots community engagement, chemistry of plastics and the circular economy.
Plastic Collective is changing the way people think about plastic. Louise identified that small, remote communities are hugely affected by plastic waste where it is regularly burnt, buried or dumped. To overcome the challenge of reaching these areas, Louise developed a mobile recycling machine that shreds and extrudes plastic on site, called the Shruder™. By combining the Shruder and the ‘know how’ from Louise’s unique Working with Plastics Program, communities have been transforming plastic into resources which generate revenue through an ethical marketplace with processed plastic shred, as well as making extruded products for local needs.
Plastic Collective has delivered programs in Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia through partnerships with Coca-Cola South Pacific, Coca-Cola Far East and TK Maxx UK. In addition to receiving revenue from processed plastic products, eco-tourism has also provided additional economic opportunity for these communities.
With a global vision and big plans, Louise and her dedicated team are currently upgrading the Shruder Recycling Station program with enhanced blockchain for ethical supply and support. This will link markets and corporate partners directly to remote communities making, selling and buying products.
In 2017, Plastic Collective launched Plastic Neutral Offset Credits, as a global first, Plastic Collective is engaging some of the largest businesses in the world, to participate in a program to fund disadvantaged remote communities in capturing waste plastic on behalf of these companies. Communities then recycle the plastics for local economic benefit.
In January 2018, Louise was invited to the Prince of Wales’ initiative, the International Sustainability Unit 3rd meeting on Plastic Pollution and The Circular Economy in London. Following this, Dr Helena Studdert, the Australian Consulate-General of Bali invited Louise to deliver 3 key presentations at the Waste to Wealth conference, in Bali.
Returning to Australia, New South Wales Governor his Excellency, Hon David Hurley and Mrs Hurley requested a private demonstration with Louise and her team in Coffs Harbour. Then in March, 2019 Plastic Collective became a signatory to the Global Commitment for the New Plastic Economy (Ellen Macarthur Foundation).
Louise continues to speak locally and internationally, sharing her message with passion about opportunity, empowerment, innovation and hope. With more than 8 million tonnes of plastic waste entering the world’s oceans every year, Louise’s vision of how to stop plastic becoming pollution is one that resonates with everyone she meets.
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS 2017-2020
2017_07. Coffs Coast StartUp Competition, Coffs Harbour
‘Waste Plastic Solutions: Empowering Communities to Transform Waste into Resources’.
2017_11. Plasticity Forum, Sydney.
‘A Plastic Neutral Future. Transforming the Global Plastic Waste Economy’.
2017_12. StartCon, Sydney.
‘Transforming the Global Plastic Waste Economy’.
2017_12. Mini Pacific Games, Port Vila. Vanuatu.
‘Community demonstration of Shruder for Pacific Islands’
2018_06. Vivid Ideas Festival, Tech Shift, Sydney.
‘Plastics Neutral Future: Empowering Remote Communities’.
2018_06. Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.
‘Plastic Neutral Future: Transforming the Global Plastic Waste Economy’.
2018_07. Waste to Wealth: Australian Consulate-General Bali, Indonesia;
‘Being Aware of Our Environment’. Udayana University, Denpasar.
‘Plastic as Value’. Waste to Wealth, Alila Resort, Seminyak.
‘How to Become a Plastic Neutral Community’. Australian Consulate, Denpasar.
2018_12. CRS Asia (Elevate Group), Hong Kong.
‘Opportunities for Corporates & Communities to Create a Plastic Waste-free Future’.
2019_03. Plasticity Oceania Forum, Fiji.
‘Connecting Global Corporations & Vulnerable Communities.’
2019_04. ADEX (Asian Diving Expo) Conference, Singapore.
‘How to become a Plastic Waste-free Community’.
2019_05. Australian Consulate-General Bali. Island Tourism Forum, Lombok.
‘Marine Tourism Forum’. Moderator.
2019_11. UNEP Sea of Solutions.
‘Take it Back! Bring it Back!: Solutions for Illegal Trade in Plastic Waste’.
2019_11. CSR Asia. Sustainable Tourism Forum.
‘A Circular Economy Case Study: Plastics & Sustainable Tourism’.
2020_01. Plastic Revolution Series.
‘From Sea Waste to Resources in Remote Communities’ Podcast Interview.