Mike Biddle

Keynote Speaker - Dr. Mike Biddle

Founder and Director
MBA Polymers

“Untangling Systems for Streamlined Material Flow”

Winner of the Gothenburg Sustainability Prize in 2012.

Dr. Biddle started MBA over 19 years ago – literally from his garage. He has since grown his company to what is now the world’s leading multi-national company recovering plastics from end-of-life durable goods, such as computers, electronics, business equipment, appliances and automobiles. MBA is headquartered in Richmond, California and has over 300 million pounds per year of processing capacity in the US, Europe and China to turn waste into plastics for use right back into the same types of products from which they came. Some of the largest manufacturers in the world use MBA’s plastics to replace virgin plastics in their new products. Dr. Biddle is one of the world’s leading experts in the space of sorting plastics at scale, with quality, and is now running the company Material Solutions.

Moderator - Robert Grace

RC Grace LLC

Robert Grace has been in business-to-business communications his entire career. He has broad global experience and for nearly 35 years has worked as a journalist, editor-in-chief, publishing executive and key connector of like-minded parties. While with Crain Communications Inc., he oversaw the relaunch of the 100-year-old European Rubber Journal in London and helped to start Urethanes Technology magazine there.

In 1988 Bob returned to Akron, Ohio, to serve as founding editor of Plastics News, an award-winning, weekly business newspaper. In 2005 he oversaw the editorial launch of the bilingual (Chinese and English) PN China e-newsletter and website. For more than a decade at PN he also held the titles of associate publisher, editorial director and conference director, and most recently served as business development director.

A long-time affiliate member of the Industrial Designers Society of America, Bob has organized numerous design-focused events, and constantly strives to help bridge the gap between the design and manufacturing communities.

Andrew Morlet

Chief Executive
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

“How do we Collectively Scale for the Circular Economy”

Andrew Morlet is the Chief Executive, and leads the business programmes of, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which promotes economic development that is restorative and regenerative by design, and which enables the shift to renewable energy. As part of the Foundation’s business programme, Andrew leads the CE100, a global innovation platform that brings together large corporates, emerging innovators, government bodies and academic partners to define and launch initiatives to accelerating transition to a circular economy.

Andrew has over 25 years’ experience in strategic management consulting working with CEOs, Board level and Senior Executives of many of the largest global companies in the automotive, consumer, financial services, healthcare, industrials, pharmaceuticals, resources, hospitality, travel and transport sectors across the USA, UK/Europe, Asia and Asia-Pacific.

Marcel de Botton

Founder and President of the Board of Directors

“Innovation in Plastic Packaging and the Waste Free Oceans Association”

Mr. Marcel de Botton served as the President of Logoplaste Consultores Técnicos, S.A. Mr. de Botton was a Partner of SOTANCRO between 1944 and 1958, and was Commercial Director of the manufacturing of pharmaceutical syringes.From 1990 to 1995 he was President of Portuguese Association of Industrial Plastics.

Also, in 1996, Mr. de Botton founded Sociedade Ponto Verde (“Green Dot” in Portuguese), and was responsible of the selective collection and recycling of packaging waste in Portugal. In 1994, he was a member of the National Administrative Council Packaging Center. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Logoplaste Consultores Técnicos, S.A.

In 1994, he received the “Ordem do Mérito Industrial” by the Republic of Portugal, as well as the 2011 Honoris Causa doctorate degree in Polymers and Derivates Science and Engineer from the University of Minho.

Jeff Wooster

Global Sustainability Director
Dow Chemical

“Collaboration to Improve Plastics Recovery”

Jeff Wooster is the global sustainability director for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. In this role, he collaborates with the entire value chain to promote and improve the sustainability value of plastic packaging. He serves on the Board of Directors and as the president of AMERIPEN, and is on the Board of Directors for GreenBlue. Wooster previously served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Additionally, Mr. Wooster serves as chair for American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division Packaging Team and is a member of the Flexible Packaging Association’s Sustainability Task Force.

Mr. Wooster joined Dow in 1988, where he spent five years in polyolefins product research. In this role he developed new polyethylene resins and worked to understand fundamental materials science and polymer processing. Mr. Wooster holds 45 U.S. and foreign patents and has published more than 50 technical papers and presentations. Mr. Wooster has also been recognized for his many efforts to advance sustainability practices including the American Chemistry Council Responsible Care 2015 Employee of the Year and an inaugural Trashie Award.

Willem De Vos

Society of Plastics Engineers

“Plastics: Innovations in the Age of Interaction”

Willem De Vos became CEO of the Society of Plastics Engineers in January 2012. SPE is a Knowledge and Networking organisation active in the plastics industry world wide, SPE is active in 30 countries and has about 30 divisions and 70 regional sections with members in 84 countries around the world. He began his career in 1991 at Eurocompound, a leading European supplier of rubber emulsion compounds and coatings to the textile, automotive, and paper industries. He is Master in Chemical & Polymer Engineering from the university of Gent, Belgium. He also holds Executive MBA from the Vlerick Management School in Belgium and is a certified London Business School Senior Executive Program holder.

Keynote Speaker - Steve Russell

VP - Plastics Division
American Chemistry Council

“Collaborations to Develop Systems that Harness the Value of Waste”

Steven Russell joined the American Chemistry Council in 1995 and currently serves as Vice President for the Plastics Division. In that capacity he leads the Division’s solutions-oriented programs, scientific research and public outreach regarding product innovations and solutions. Through value chain and other partnerships the Division is driving efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover plastics, and to provide sustainable solutions to prevent litter, increase recycling, and address marine debris. At the American Chemistry Council, Mr. Russell has previously served as Senior Legal Counsel and as Senior Director for Health, Products and Science Policy. Mr. Russell earned a BA from the University of Kansas in 1984, and a JD from California Western School of Law in 1987.

Brad La Force


“Plastic – How it can Become More Valuable than Cement”
Brad is the CEO of ByFusion, and has a background in
international entrepreneurship with a focus on construction,
manufacturing, and sustainable building products. He has been the
keynote speaker at numerous conferences around the globe, has
delivered a TED talk on the future of plastics as a building material,
and is an acknowledged adviser in contracting and international
logistics including tariff, World Bank and WTO requirements.

Lavineke Bolle – van der Meulen

Sales Director, Europe

“Using Bottles as a way to Drive Mindset Change in Recycling”

Graduated as a textile engineer in 1990, Lavineke Bolle has travelled the world for more than 20 years sourcing garments for multiple international companies. This gave her the opportunity to watch closely the negative environmental impacts of the textile industry encouraging her to lead strategic efforts and training programs to create a culture of sustainability among buyers and purchasing agents. She is currently Sales Director in Europe for Waste2Wear, a brand specialized in textile products made from recycled plastic bottles.

Dr. Denise Hardesty

Senior Research Scientist, Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia

“Talking Trash: Upstream sources and opportunities to reduce litter inputs”

Dr. Denise Hardesty has been leading a portfolio of marine debris projects the last several years which is resulting in global recognition of Australia’s role in leading cutting-edge marine debris work of high value and impact. A broadly trained scientist who has worked on all seven continents, she brings a unique understanding to environmental issues. Increasingly, Ms. Hardesty has been called on to serve as a leader for marine debris fora and as a science expert providing information to the federal government, to non-government organizations, to industry parties within Australia and internationally, and to other stakeholders focused on marine debris impacts at a multitude of spatiotemporal scales.

Tom Domen

Long-Term Innovation Manager

“Design for Good, Upscaling the Ocean Bottle Initiative”

Tom has been working for Ecover/Method for 9 years, where he is responsible for the long term innovation strategy and sustainability for the different categories of Ecover/Method products (laundry, cleaning, dishwashing, home care and personal care). Tom is also a member of the board of Kringwinkel, a Belgian organisation that gives a second life to what otherwise would be waste. Tom Domen graduated in 1996 with a Master in Industrial Design. In 2007, he completed a Master in Sustainable Development at the University of Brussels. With his MA on Sustainable Technology for Eastern Africa, he received the yearly Award for Innovative Technology from the Chamber of Engineers.

Shannon Davis

Voice from our Youth

“A Comparison of UC Berkeley and the City of Berkeley’s Plastic Recycling Processes “

Shannon Davis is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley double majoring in Society and Environment and Sustainable Environmental Design. Her senior thesis titled “The Commodification of Waste: A Story of Plastic Recycling in Berkeley” inspired the creation of a course now offered at UC Berkeley called “The Zero Waste Movement” and catalyzed the completion of UC Berkeley’s Plastic Disclosure Project. Shannon also served as a Zero Waste Commissioner for the City of Berkeley for two years and evaluated the plastic recycling processes for both the City and the University through a commodity chain analysis for comparison. Shannon is currently completing her final semester in Copenhagen, Denmark evaluating the recycling processes present in Scandinavia.

Dr. Richard Mattison

Chief Executive

“Measuring the Positive Socio-Economic Benefit of Plastic Innovations”

Richard is Chief Executive of Trucost Plc, the leading provider of natural capital measurement and valuation. Trucost has been helping companies, investors, governments, academics and thought leaders to understand the economic consequences of natural capital dependency for over 12 years. Richard has advised various UN bodies and governments on environmental reporting and ecosystem services and has led groundbreaking projects including developing the world’s first Environmental Profit and Loss account for PUMA, valuing the environmental externalities of the world’s 3,000 largest companies for the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, and producing the UK Government’s Environmental Reporting Guidelines for Business.

Ryan W. Hunt

Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Hunt is the Chief Technology Officer, member of the Board of Directors, and co-founder of ALGIX, LLC. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Georgia. Mr. Hunt has over eight years of research experience in biopolymers, algae technology, biomass fractionation, and photosynthetic optimization. Ryan has published six journal articles and is a co-inventor of four patents on algae-related technologies. Mr. Hunt uses his diverse skill set and research experience to drive innovation and promote sustainability and excellence for the leadership and vision of ALGIX.

Peter Hartel

Head of Sales

Mr. Hartel is the Head of Sales of the PET Recycling, Product Treatment and Cleaning Technology of Krones since 2009. He has been responsible for the Aviation and Space Reinsurance business in Munich for 18 years, leading their IT department. Mr. Hartel then ran the IT – Department of a large medical laboratory in Munich, and has a background in technology and innovation.

Michel Loubry

Regional Director, West Region
Plastics Europe

“The Strategy For Plastic Waste ReductionZero Plastic to Landfill”

Since 2005, Mr. Loubry is PlasticsEurope’s Regional Director for the West Region that encompasses Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. He has also led the association’s efforts on Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection as Programme Director between 2006 and 2011. He is guiding the association’s activities towards consumer protection since 2013.

Mr. Loubry started his professional career at Unilever, moving to DSM, where he worked in France (1983-1989), the Netherlands (1989-1993), Spain (1993-1995) and Italy (1995-1998), returning to France in 1998. After having left DSM in 2003, he became an independent consultant, focusing on cultural differences in business environments.

Richard Peel

Managing Director
Richard Peel Public Relations

“Special Global Announcement – 10,000 Miles on ‘Wings of Waste’”

Richard Peel is the Managing Director of RPPR (Richard Peel Public Relations), following a long career in corporate communications across a range of sectors. He spent 11 years with BBC News, heading its communications and marketing, was the first Director of Corporate Affairs for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the first for the Independent Television Commission (ITC). He was also Managing Director of Communications and Public Reporting with the Audit Commission.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society (RTS), a lifetime member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), Vice President of the Media Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), a Trustee and Director of Youth Music, and a member of the London Business School Alumni Association. Read more about RPPR here .

Paulo Lourenço

Mechanical Engineer, Production Manager
Extruplás Lda.

“Plastic Lumber in Portugal – Mix Plastic Recycling, PEI Concept”

Paulo Lourenço was a Quality Product and Quality System Manager at DURA Automotive, a first-tier supplier within the automobile industry. Prior to this, Mr. Lourenço was process and project manager at General Motors Portugal.

Today, he is familiar with plastic process recycling from household waste (mix plastics) to sorting, shredding and intrusion process. He’s planning the production (extrusion and assembly) according to customer and supplier demands and its optimization.

Dr Heather Koldewey

Head of Global Conservation Programmes
Zoological Society of London

“Communities to Carpets – Replicating the Net-WorksTM Inclusive Business Model”

Dr Heather Koldewey started working for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in 1995, initially as a research scientist, then as curator of the ZSL London Zoo Aquarium and currently as Head of Global Conservation Programmes. She finds solutions through interdisciplinary research and conservation action at the interface between communities and environment.

Examples include a) co-founding Project Seahorse, recognised as the world’s leading authority on seahorses; b) developing Net-Works, an award-winning project that has developed a novel community-based supply chain for discarded fishing nets that are recycled into carpet tiles (with Interface Inc. www.net-works.com) addressing issues of marine debris and poverty alleviation in coastal communities, and c) Project Ocean – retail activism in action, an innovative and ground-breaking partnership between the luxury London department store, Selfridges, and ZSL to bring ocean conservation to new audiences and change consumer buying habits.

Michael Heinzlreiter

Head of Marketing and international Business Development
NGR Next Generation Recycling Machines

“Challenges in establishing a Circular Economy with Plastics”

Since 2012, Mr. Heinzlreiter is the Head of Marketing and international Business Development at NGR Next Generation Recycling Machines. He has served 10 years as engineer in the field of injection molding-tools design, head of production for plastics hollows, as well as application engineer for plastics pellets. He also served for 15 years in the field of international Marketing and Business Development, amongst others in a well-known plastics fittings and pipes company.

Donald Thomson

President and Founder
The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration, CRDC

During the past 30 years Donald Thomson, the President and Founder of The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration, CRDC, has been recognized as an innovator in many areas of the construction and development industry. His work and long term commitment to the field of corporate social responsibility and conservation have provided him beneficial working relationships with the Costa Rican government as well as various multinational corporations.

CRDC’s focus on providing access to affordable yet quality housing being coupled with a deep concern over beach litter provided the design basis for the patented AGUA “Bottle to Tile” Out Cycling project. As a result CRDC started the Ocean Symphony Volunteer Program, which focuses on beach cleanup, mangrove reforestation, and soon the construction of housing units using the AGUA bottle – tile process. All of the company’s efforts are intended to be regenerative in nature, whether that be in providing educational enrichment, the replanting of the mangrove, or the conversion of a growing plastic waste stream into a new supply stream of quality shelter.

Robert F. Helminiak

VP of Science and Regulatory Affairs
Society of the Plastics Industry

Robert F. Helminiak is the vice president of science and regulatory affairs for the Society of the Plastics Industry. Helminiak is responsible for addressing actions of regulatory agencies, code- and standard- setting bodies, and non-governmental organizations on the Federal, State, and International levels, in support of the 900,000 strong U.S. plastics manufacturing industry.

Helminiak previously served as director of regulatory affairs for the National Propane Gas Association and as director of government affairs and deputy general counsel at the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute.

Helminiak is a native of Buffalo, N.Y., and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Dayton and a Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of America. He is admitted to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Patricia Davitt Long

VP of Industry Affairs
Society of the Plastics Industry

Patty Long brings over 30 years of experience in government relations, public affairs and communications. She currently serves at the Vice President, Industry Affairs for the Society of the Plastics Industry’s Plastics Industry Trade Association. In that capacity, she is responsible for overall issues management and leads outreach on behalf of member companies to government bodies, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders. Patty has spent the bulk of her career in association management having spent two years as an executive staff member of the National Asphalt Pavement Association and almost 20 years with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

Patty is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies where she teaches ethics. She is a native of the Washington, DC area and is the mother of four daughters.

Michael Murray

Founder and CEO

Michael Murray, a Chartered Director, has over 24 years experience in the business world founding companies and developing technology in telecommunications, construction, waste management and recycling. Michael’s corporate career began in Saudi Arabia in 1991 where he founded and headed up AHMTL Limited, a joint venture with a local partner.

More than a decade on, Cynar is the industry forerunner in commercialised plastic to alternative fuel technology and has won numerous awards for sustainable energy, leadership and technological innovation. Michael is now leading his team in developing the market in Europe, North and South America and Australasia.