What Happened at Previous Events

Plasticity covers a variety of topics that touch on all aspects of the plastic lifecycle from manufacture to recycling

These include material development, design, packaging, re-use, new materials, case studies in waste management, recycling and waste-to-fuel.

The 6th Plasticity Forum – “Designing for the Future – Plastic and the Circular Economy” was held in London as part of the London Design Festival on September 21st. The event helped to bridge the gap between the design community, and experts who work with plastic, recycling and the aspects of sustainability which relate to waste reduction. Download Press Release Here.
(Photo: David Wilson – Vanden Recycling)

Plasticity London followed on from the spring event in Shanghai, again bringing together experts from across the plastics spectrum to discuss innovation and the dynamics of scaling processes, materials and recycling to reduce waste and create value.

Plasticity is a unique event, convening global experts from across the plastic spectrum to share experiences on opportunities and challenges with plastic sustainability and inclusion in the circular economy, thus bringing about the large scale changes that are required in order to reduce its waste impacts. The event offers “a big conversation on the future of plastic,” and discusses where opportunities can be created related to recycled content, resource recovery, job creation and waste reduction.

Plasticity Panel

The event was positioned as part of the London Design Festival because frequently design community is not at the table regarding sustainability discussions, options and opportunities. Designers therefore may not realize all of the issues and complexities which are associated with plastic vis-à-vis materials, processes and recycled content which could make big impacts in reducing the waste footprint associated with plastic products, and where improvements can positively impact the products and brands they work with.

London Design Festival
Some of the global expert speakers in this uniquely focused event, which covers a wide spectrum of topics within the plastic space, included Mr. Chris Grantham, Circular Economy Portfolio Director from one of the world’s leading design companies, IDEO, Mr. Peter Lacy, Global Managing Director of Sustainability Services at Accenture, Mr. Willem De Vos, CEO of the Society of Plastics Engineers, and Mr. Simon Widmer, Project Manager – Circular Design, Ellen MacCarthur Foundation.

Presentations and videos of speeches from Shanghai are available here.

Plasticity Shanghai took place in April, with great success, and the first discussion of its type on plastic sustainability in China. Our press release was picked up by publications with a reach of over 385 million readers, so we believe that this was a very positive launch of a big discussion on plastic sustainability, and where the leaders are going with design, innovation, materials, recycling, and a world for a reduced waste footprint. Event photos can be viewed here.

This event was held during the same week as CHINAPLAS 2016, and included a tour to the world’s 2nd biggest plastic trade show. The Plasticity Forum also included a 1\/2-day workshop called “Go Circular – Envisioning Products and Packaging in a Circular Economy” that was held in conjunction with our partners, Successful Design, CBi China Bridge, and Green Initiatives.

We also are pleased to announce a new report by Trucost plc, one of our partners, that is one of the world’s first studies to assess the Net Benefit Analysis of sustainable plastic solutions, with Dell and Algix. If their new materials, use of recycled content and reduced packaging were to be replicated across their industries, the benefit to the global environment and our communities would be valued at over US$3.5bn annually. You can read the press release here and download the Report Here.

Event Summary Video on Youku 优酷

Plasticity Shanghai Event Summary Video

Event Testimonial: “I arrived in Shanghai from Australia for Plasticity, not entirely sure of what was to unfold. As a small business looking for opportunities to grow, Plasticity was more rewarding than I could have hoped for. A day of passionate talks from some of the world’s leading minds raising awareness of the scale of the plastics problem, the role of global business in accepting responsibility, and the urgency with which business and government must act to slow plastic pollution and, as I learnt was possible, eventually reverse it.

I left Plasticity with a sense of hope and even excitement, buzzing with ideas for our business to harness this urgency and shape our future beyond a zero-waste, circular economy, realising the potential to go even further, reducing waste to landfill by manufacturing our glasses frames and cases (even uniforms and lens cloths!) from post consumer waste.

It was not just hope and excitement, but also a pocket full of email addresses of people with the know-how, contacts and just as much passion to help make these ideas a reality. I arrived back to the Dresden team in Sydney with excited plans to use a variety of post consumer ‘waste’, launching each as an individual ‘range’ that tells the story of each plastic as a valuable resource rather than waste, and a greater awareness of the “true cost” of our decisions as a business.

A fantastic couple days of contagious passion and innovation. Plasticity is about the future of our planet and what every player in the plastics industry can and must do to improve our communities and waters by bringing plastic into a circular economy.

Jack Piper, Dresden Optics – www.dresden.com.au

Plasticity Portugal 2015

The 4th annual Plasticity Forum was held in Portugal, as part of the country’s Blue Economy series of events, and The Economist’s World Ocean Summit. The event was the first 2-day Plasticity Forum, and was well received as a first event in Europe.

Plasticity Portugal Summary Videos

Plasticity New York, 2014

The third annual Plasticity Forum took place in New York City with engaged discussions on scaling design, innovations and solutions for a world with a reduced waste footprint. Noted author of Cradle to Cradle ,William McDonough, CEO of McDonough Innovations, declared the need to “redesign, renew and regenerate” when we think of the life of our products.

Former President of Costa Rica, Jose Maria Figueres, said “even though Costa Rica is known for being one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world, we also have a big problem with managing waste and recycling. We need the collective work from the experts and participants of Plasticity to bring scaled solutions to both our businesses and countries to drive the opportunities that can be harnessed from treating waste as a resource.”

Plastic has a value greater than steel, pound-for-pound, but is too often treated as waste after its initial use.
The NY event hosted some of the world’s leading plastic innovators, entrepreneurs, designers and thought leaders within both business and government sectors come together in the aim of finding profitable and creative solutions to reduce our global plastic footprint.

Some of the exciting research, developments, and initiatives in the plastics space which were announced at Plasticity included:

• Miniwiz’s innovative product use and reuse including turning food waste into ethanol and P.E.T. plastics.
• Lewis Perkins of Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute announced their push to increase C2C innovation and certification in the textiles industry through their “Fashion +” initiative.
• Scott O’Connell announces Dell’s closed-loop recycling program to include over 50m pounds of recycled content in their computers and 2bn pounds of waste saved from its packaging by 2020.
• Steve Russel of the American Chemical Council identifies the value of our non-recycled plastics in terms of energy, able to power 5.7million homes/year.
• Monique Maissan of Waste2Wear discussed product innovation in the fashion industry, using recycled material in garments.
• William McDonough showed the “Wonder House,” allowing for homes that can be easily built, moved, expanded and reused, and are adaptable to different climates and cultures.
• Richard Mattison of Trucost discussed the new report on valuing plastic announced and the negative externatlities of waste when not captured for regeneration. The report was announced yesterday in Nairobi at the U.N. Environmental Assembly (UNEA).
o The value of plastic packaging that could be recycled, but is landfilled instead, is over US$8bn.
• Sam Harrington of Ecovative demonstrates innovative plastic alternatives that utilize biomaterials, including mushroom packaging.
• Jo Royle announced the launch of the Ocean Friendly Design Forum, focussed on product design that enhances resource recovery, and prevents plastics pollution in the world’s oceans.
• Destin Layne announced the Think Beyond Plastic Innovation Forum to advance entrepreneurship and inspire innovations to reduce plastic pollution.

The Plasticity Forum in NY marked a new chapter in collaborative action between industry, governments, and communities in banding together to scale solutions that can really drive mindset changes in how we perceive plastic in a new form, that of the resource that it truly is.

Plasticity Hong Kong, 2013

Plasticity Hong Kong was held on June 6th, 2013, and brought together leading practitioners from plastic supply chains, procurement, and post-consumer waste management in a one-day conference. The innovation-packed agenda, addressed key issues such as:

- Measuring, managing and reducing plastic dependency
- Transforming waste streams into revenue streams
- Design opportunities in packaging and product development
- Plastic waste-to-power solutions
- Investor support for plastic up-cycling
- Reducing the global impact of plastic waste

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting the next Plasticity Forum, likely in New York City, in 2014. Stay tuned for more information. Please add your name to our mailing list if you are interested to be involved as a sponsor, speaker or attendee.

“You could have a perfectly sustainable idea but if you can’t find the partners to help turn that idea into a product and, thereafter, to make that product into a commercial success, then we think that you’re not truly innovating. Plasticity is so exciting because it brings together a broad range of great minds across different areas in the same place at the same time. For Method that’s a rich environment for sharing ideas and creating partnerships which can ultimately help solve the challenges in designing and bringing to market sustainable products which people love and want to use.”
Phil King
Chief Person Against Dirty

“The Rio 20+ Plasticity event was perfectly organized … making this absolutely worthwhile to sponsor and attend. I truly look forward to the following Plasticity event next year. Congratulations to the organizers!”
Tom Domen
Long Term Innovation Manager

Waste Management Dialogue

On June 5th, we also hosted a session called “Hong Kong’s Waste Management Dialogue” at the HK Stock Exchange Auditorium, in coordination with the HK University’s Faculty of Law. Information is included below, but this event will also have a follow-on discussion for the community, in the coming months.

Waste Management Conflict Resolution

Plasticity Rio, 2012

Click on the following links for information on the first Plasticity event, held during the Rio+20 Earth Summit:

Presentation Material
Video of Presentations

Who Attended?

Key plastics decision-makers, influencers and innovators, leaders and global decision-makers from the corporate, NGO and government sectors, who have a vested interest in plastics, including:

– Textiles – Waste to Fuel Companies
– Retailers – Bio Plastic Producers
– Manufacturers – Municipality Leaders
– Service Industries – Policy Makers
– Design and Packaging Industries NGOs
– Recyclers – Brand Owners

Capturing Gold – Ideas competition ’12

In 2012 we launched a global competition called ‘Capturing Gold’. This ideas competition focused on PET plastic bottles with two challenges: How to best bring the bottles back, en-masse, from our communities, for recycling, and what best to do with the material when aggregated.

There were over 100 international ideas submitted, and the platform allowed for others to add to the ideas in order to make them stronger. The winning ideas for “capture” included the “PET Race” and “Turning PET into Pesos,” with the former being a competitive digital game application and the latter being a community/children based collection program where rewards are given from local businesses. The best “use” ideas included the creation of new furniture products via a large brand, and the use of material for making large scale playground equipment.

Click here for an overview of the winning ideas.