What Happened at Previous Events

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.