M&S, Nestlé, P&G and TerraCycle latest speakers confirmed for Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019

M&S, Nestlé, P&G and TerraCycle latest speakers confirmed for Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019

March 19, 2019
Marcia González

Interest in the inaugural Plastic Free World Conference & Expo has been extraordinary ever since the event was initially announced in November 2018. But this enthusiasm has ramped-up quite a few notches over the past week following the online publication of the preliminary conference program

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 takes place at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, over the course of two days, 27/28 June. Almost 90 speakers are now confirmed to participate from some of the world’s leading authorities in fields such as alternative biobased materials for the automotive, packaging, fashion and retail sectors, as well as experts with deployable technologies to tackle the global plastics pollution crisis. Delegates will also discover dozens and dozens of specialists with strategies and business models to help reduce an organization’s global plastic footprint. And if it was at all possible, that lineup has been further enhanced this week with heavyweight speakers from Volkswagen, Nestlé, Marks and Spencer (M&S), Procter & Gamble (P&G) and TerraCycle all signing-up to the world’s first and only forum dedicated to this very serious problem.

Perfect partners
P&G’s Herbal Essences brand has been in the headlines in recent days following the announcement of its partnership with TerraCycle to produce haircare bottles utilizing 25% of recovered beach plastic. “By incorporating beach plastic into their bottles, Herbal Essences is showing that they are committed to doing something and leading by example,” commented Tom Szaky, the innovative CEO of TerraCycle, whose session will be focusing on its groundbreaking ‘Loop’ shopping and recycling platform to eliminate single-use plastics.

At Plastics Free World Conference & Expo 2019, Jürgen Dornheim, P&G’s section head of Packaging Capability, will address aspects including but not limited to how global manufacturers such as P&G – which uses plastic as a predominant packaging material – are addressing the global challenge of making their entire product portfolios more environmentally friendly today rather than tomorrow, even more of a challenge due to complex legal frameworks.

An ecosystem of solutions
Nestlé, one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, has also positioned itself to be a sustainability leader in this space, so delegates will no doubt be clamoring to hear what the organization has to say on the subject. Nestlé announced this week that it is working with Veolia to tackle plastics leakage into the environment, with a particular focus on flexible plastic packaging. “Plastic waste is a challenge that requires an ecosystem of solutions all working simultaneously,” said Magdi Batato, Nestlé’s executive vice president, head of operations. “This partnership is another specific step to accelerate our efforts in addressing the critical issue of plastic waste. Leveraging on Veolia’s technology and expertise, we will start with pilot projects in multiple countries, with the intention of scaling these up globally.”

The Nestlé-Veolia partnership will also explore technologies to establish viable recycling models in different countries, including chemical recycling solutions such as pyrolysis, which is capable of producing virgin-quality plastic. These technologies will help Nestlé to increase the recycled content of its bottled water packaging to 35% and its overall product packaging to 15% by 2025.

Phil Townsend is responsible for delivering the environmental sustainability program for M&S’ Clothing & Home business, so we’re especially pleased that with his decades of experience as a product technologist he is joining our panel discussion on 28 June 2019 along with Canopy’s Nicole Rycroft and Hua Sun, CEO of North American Green Pulp. From huge cost savings realized by reusing shipping boxes to cat-walking fashion away from endangered forests, panel participants will describe their successes and failures on their sustainability journey. This is sure to be a fascinating listen.

And, finally, Volkswagen’s Dr Christine Schütz, head of Plastics, Group Research – Materials and Manufacturing Processes, will be delivering a presentation revolving around the vehicle-maker’s approach to using sustainable resources such as renewable raw materials including flax, hemp, cellulose, cotton and kenaf in the manufacture of its cars, all with the objective of reducing CO2 emissions over the entire vehicle life-cycle.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with how preparations have gone so far,” enthused Mike Robinson, CEO of Trans-Global Events, the organizer of the conference. “The reaction to the concept of Plastic Free World Conference & Expo – as well as the pace at which we finalized the program – has been incredible. I must thank our advisory board members for their role in ensuring that the content is absolutely unrivalled. We probably could have had three times the number of speakers, but that just goes to show how hot this topic is.

“What’s especially pleasing is that I have been told countless times in recent months that there has been a real need for this type of forum, one in which NGOs, government officials, academics, technologists, business leaders and experts from across many sectors – as well as up and down the entire supply chain – come together under one roof. Delegates will be able to network and exchange real-world solutions, access a plethora of knowledge and advice, including emerging trends, lessons learned and concrete ways to reduce our reliance on harmful plastics.”

Watch this space for further additions and updates about speaker sessions and topics.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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