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Keynote speakers announced for landmark conference to help end plastic pollution

Plastic policy @ Portsmouth

5 min read Partner content

A socially conscious rapper, an award-winning environmental activist and a women’s empowerment advocate are among the keynote speakers for the PlasticsFuture 2023 Conference being held at the University of Portsmouth next June.

A socially conscious rapper, an award-winning environmental activist and a women’s empowerment advocate are among the keynote speakers for the PlasticsFuture 2023 Conference being held at the University of Portsmouth next June. 

Hosted by Revolution Plastics at the University of Portsmouth, PlasticsFuture 2023 hopes to find innovative solutions to the global plastics crisis. The conference will take a unique approach to finding solutions to end plastic pollution by embracing science, policy and the creative arts. 

Tickets have just gone on sale and the organisers hope the impressive lineup of keynote speakers, and the pioneering and transdisciplinary agenda, will be a winning formula in the quest to find solutions to global plastic pollution. 

Never has the need for solutions to the global plastics crisis been so urgent.  We want to create a conference with a difference. By bringing together expertise from all subject fields, we hope PlasticsFuture 2023 will bring a new philosophical outlook to tackling plastic pollution.

Professor Steve Fletcher, Director of Revolution Plastics, University of Portsmouth

The mission-driven conference will focus on sharing research and innovation from a broad range of stakeholders. These include: researchers, activists, artists, community members, non-governmental organisations, industry experts, policymakers, and practitioners from around the world. Global thought leaders will share their knowledge, discuss recent advancements, and reveal exciting new insights in our efforts to end plastic pollution.  There will be opportunities for interaction and collaboration through creative workshops, talks, roundtables and panel discussions. 

Nelmo Munyiri, Mukuru Youth Initiative

PlasticsFuture 2023 will help build an evidence base to stimulate change. Professor Steve Fletcher from the University of Portsmouth is one of the keynote speakers. He says: “Never has the need for solutions to the global plastics crisis been so urgent.  We want to create a conference with a difference. By bringing together expertise from all subject fields, we hope PlasticsFuture 2023 will bring a new philosophical outlook to tackling plastic pollution.”

Keynote speakers announced so far: 

Von Hernandez, Break Free from Plastic 

Von Hernandez is a multi-awarded environmental activist based in Manila, Philippines, who has been campaigning on waste and toxic pollution for more than 25 years.  The global Break Free from Plastic movement consists of more than 2,500 organisations, representing millions of supporters worldwide, which have come together to reverse the plastic pollution crisis. 

Nelmo Munyiri, Mukuru Youth Initiative

Nelson Munyiri is travelling from Kenya to speak at the conference. Born and raised in the informal settlement of Mukuru in Nairobi, he is the founder of the Mukuru Youth Initiative which engages young people to be the agents of change within their own communities. Nelson is a recording and performing artist with a focus on human rights and social change, inspiring people to act on issues such as plastic pollution through music.

Esrat Karim, AMAL Foundation 

Esrat Karim is the Director and Founder of Amal Foundation. She has been an advocate for climate change, social reform, and women's empowerment since before her foundation was established in 2014.  As a result of her work in education, community development, health, and women’s empowerment, she was honoured by Forbes in 2020 as one of Asia’s top 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs.  She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from University of Dhaka and her Master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado.  As an Acumen Fellow, she is running skill centres for women in different remote areas of Bangladesh. Esrat was the first girl in her community who completed undergraduate studies and received a scholarship to study in a prestigious master’s program in the United States.

Professor Steve Fletcher, University of Portsmouth

Steve Fletcher is Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy, and Director of the Global Plastics Policy Centre at the University of Portsmouth. Professor Fletcher leads the University's Revolution Plastics initiative, driving interdisciplinary research and innovation to solve challenges in production, use and disposal of plastics.

He is also Ocean Lead of the UN International Resource Panel, and works extensively with the UN family of ocean and biodiversity conventions, governments, agencies, businesses, universities and a wider network of international conservation organisations.

Professor Lesley Henderson, University of Strathclyde

Lesley Henderson is Professor of Communications at the University of Strathclyde. She founded the Sustainable Plastics Research Group at Brunel University London. Lesley is an expert in leading interdisciplinary research on public perceptions and behavioural change concerning plastic pollution in Indonesia; exploring interactions with plastics packaging, innovation and global plastics policy in the UK and EU, and addressing the role of remote satellite imaging in shaping a 'Plastic-less Society'. Lesley was an expert member of the SAPEA working group on microplastics which provided policy advice to the European Commission and has also contributed to social science related policy options for the UN and Defra. She is frequently invited by industry to give independent scientific advice.

Dr Ben Williams, University of the West of England

Ben Williams is a Senior Research Fellow within the Air Quality Management Resource Centre at the University of the West of England (UWE), working at the interface of science, policy, and community. He co-leads UWE’s Biospheric Microplastics Research Cluster and leads Homes Under the Microscope, a UKRI funded project investigating the presence of airborne microplastics in homes, co-creating the method with citizens.

He is also a Committee Member of the International Network of Environmental Forensics and contributes to the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Healthy Urban Environments.

PlasticsFuture2023 is a 3 day conference from 20-22 June 2023.  

Early bird tickets £110 (early bird rate ends 14 April 2023) can be booked here:

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