At the start of Plastic Free July, we take a look at all things plastic.
From shopping bags and milk to letters and cheese, more and more consumer goods are now made from or covered in plastic. Plastic loves the ocean as much as you do. Disposable plastic is one of many contributors to greater Sydney’s landfills.
Is this a problem? Is it worth encouraging more people to recycle? Where can consumers influence global supply chains hungry for disposable plastic? How do we change littering behaviour? How much plastic actually gets recycled? Is it possible to live plastic-free?
We’ve rustled up a bag-full of speakers whose personal and professional lives are intertwined with plastic.
Come along to get your answers from our fantastic (get it, rhymes with plastic!) array of speakers.
Justin is Founding Director of Responsible Action Network (RAN), which fosters a mainstream reuse culture. The RAN family includes Responsible Runners – a novel combination of running/walking and weekly cleanups that reduce marine debris and raise awareness about the health and environmental dangers of single-use disposable waste, particularly plastic, while effecting positive behavioural change. Justin is a sustainability consultant and environmental advocate working to empower positive behavioural change towards a more sustainable society. Other initiatives he has founded include Responsible Cafes, Run the Tarkine, and Bondi Food Collective. Justin has campaigned with Boomerang Alliance for container deposit legislation, and remains a champion for a plastic bag ban and renewable energy.
Layla is Senior Project Officer at the NSW EPA and has been judge and assessor for the Sustainable Cities and Tidy Town programs in recent years. Layla is an environmental generalist with 16 yrs experience in the public sector providing strategic planning and program development for waste and recycling projects, water and natural resource management responsibilities. She has a honours degree in Environmental Studies and a Masters in Environmental Communications.
The story of plastic and how society grapples with it is one that would be incomplete without Tim. Tim has been on a whirlwind multidisciplinary journey, wearing many hats from scientific research, activism, organisational development and environmental enterprise. You may be familiar with Tim’s work as co-founder of Take 3 that asks everyone to simply take three pieces of rubbish with them when they leave the beach, waterway or…anywhere.
Tim also founded ReChusable, an enviro-enterprise that provides sustainable alternatives to disposable products; is a spokesperson for the Boomerang Alliance, advocating waste and recycling reform in Australia; and a member of the Circular Economy Australia movement.
June 8th is world Oceans Day, and this year's theme is "healthy oceans, healthy planet".
With vectors like, sea-level rise, ocean acidification, plastic pollution, agricultural run-off and depleted fisheries, for June Greenups we're asking the question, just how healthy are our oceans, and what if anything can we do to make them healthier?
To help us take stock (sorry bad pun) and learn what we can do about these varied issues, we've gathered some knowledgeable ocean experts to guide our conversations.
Adrian Enright - Policy Manager, WWF Climate Change
Adrian is WWFs Climate Change Policy Manager, focusing on major policy areas including emission reduction targets, renewable energy and climate finance. Prior to joining WWF, Adrian was the Global Coordinator for Climate Smart Agriculture with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV). During this time he has been supporting and coordinating climate change projects, primarily in Asia and Africa. This included working as an advisor for the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation programme in Vietnam. Adrian also worked for more than three years as a climate change policy officer and environmental economist for the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance.
Dr Adrian Gutteridge – IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Dr Adrian Gutteridge is a Marine Biologist who’s specialty includes shark biology, fisheries science and marine conservation. He completed his PhD from the University of Queensland in 2012, with his thesis focussing on the species community and fisheries interactions of the sharks and rays of Hervey Bay, Queensland. His research has included a variety of shark and ray species along the east coast of Australia, including biological assessments, ecological investigations and satellite tagging of hammerhead sharks and tiger sharks.
Meredith Epp - Science Communications Officer, MSC Oceania
As Science Communications Officer from MSC Oceania, Meredith works to communicate the credibility and importance of sustainable fishing to a variety of audiences from fishermen, retailers, government, students and consumers. The MSC is the world's leading certification and ecolabelling program for sustainable seafood. Her goal is to show how the choosing sustainable seafood is good for the oceans, good for fishermen and good to eat. Meredith received her Master’s degree in marine biodiversity and conservation in California before moving to Sydney to work for the Marine Stewardship Council.
Richard Ververs - CEO of Underwater Earth and Exec Project Director of the XL Catlin Seaview Survey
Richard is an underwater photographer and communication specialist. His role is to drive the project, and occasionally the camera itself with a goal to bring the magic of underwater into our everyday lives. Richard has a background of 10 years working in advertising in London, followed by 10 years as an underwater photographer, artist, designer and communicator, working with a range of conservation organisations and companies including the Sydney Aquarium. Richard's favourite dive is the isolated oceanic Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea and favourite sea critter is the Mantis Shrimp, the epitome of how diverse and bizarre life underwater can really be.