Our student ambassadors Hanieh Esmaeilpour, Abigail McGowan, Filipa Henriques, Rachel Smyth, and Amirchand Rane have carefully curated a list of Plastic Reduction Professionals who have made a significant impact on sustainability in their industry.
We continue adding people on the lists that deserve to be noticed for the good they have done for nature.
Please give feedback and suggest more names on the lists. We want more people who are utilizing their business skills for nature!
The professionals on this list have been carefully selected as a result of their contributions to sustainability in the area of plastic reduction. Innovative entrepreneurs, driven CEOs, expert business managers and individuals in other significant positions are recognised here as having a commitment to protecting the planet. By creating new recycling strategies, products and solutions, these professionals are contributing to a future where plastic waste is a thing of the past.
We have selected these professionals according to the following criteria:
- The core mission of their company is geared towards reducing the volume of plastic waste we produce.
- They are personally passionate about protecting the environment and support sustainable development, leading to positive impacts in their industry.
- They promote and follow sustainable practices within their company.
Jani is Head of Product Development at Walki Group, Finland. He is an expert in new business development, research, and product development.
Jani Avellan’s professional background is directed in presenting more environmentally friendly plastics to the market which are made based on natural polymers by plants and bacteria.
Jani’s field of expertise as R&D Director, Innovations in Walki Group, focuses on compostable and biodegradable films, bags and sacks, paper and board converting, dispersion coating, extrusion coating, film blowing, biodegradable polymers, compostable applications, certification, legislation and standardization.
Mikko is Product Line Manager at Fortum Waste Solutions.
Mikko’s specialties include plastics recycling, recycled materials compounding, plastics production, and circular economy.
Mikko Koivuniemi has over 20 years experience in plastics engineering, plastics product design, molds design, flow analysis and recycling.
Mikko’s focus in the last 10 years was on recycled plastics, both industrial and post-consumer materials. His other fields of expertise include direct experience in international sales, private placement and finance, subsidiary start-up, and sales channels development.
Professor Jurkka Kuusipalo at Tampere University of Technology (TUT) works in the faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences.
He has been researching various coating techniques for more than 20 years. He is an expert in paper processing technology.
He had a leadership role in a project for creating biodegradable food packaging and disposable containers. The mentioned biodegradable materials are suitable and safe for food packaging which have been developed in TUT with Italian Company Bio-on that produces bioplastics mainly from plants, such as sugar beet waste.
The research group of Paper Converting and Packaging Technology (PCPT) and Professor Kuusipalo in TUT offer academic education and collaboration possibilities for industry, besides both small and large research projects.
Hannu Kasurinen is Head of the Liquid Packaging and Carton Board business unit at Stora Enso.
His focus area currently is on introducing renewable biocomposite materials replacing plastics.
Hannu as Executive Vice President of Packaging Materials at Stora EnsoHannu believes that consumer demand nowadays is strongly driven by environmental awareness and the various solutions in replacing non-renewable materials that bring added value to customers.
5. Jo Ruxton
Jo Ruxton is Co-Founder of Plastic Oceans UK.
Jo worked for the WWF in Asia for 7 years, before joining the BBC Natural History Unit as a Producer, where she was a part of the celebrated Blue Planet Team.
Much of her life has been spent filming underwater. Jo Ruxton is the founder and producer of ‘A Plastic Ocean’ which is a film addressing the consequences of our global disposable lifestyle.
This film was named by Sir David Attenborough as “one of the most important films of our time”. Since becoming the co-founder of Plastic Oceans UK which educates people on the topic of plastic and working with businesses to become more sustainable.
Amanda is Co-Founder & CEO of Less Plastic.
She is a professionally qualified Marketing expert with 20 years’ experience, specialising in strategy and communications.
She founded Less Plastic, initially as a side-project, to raise awareness of ocean plastic and share simple ways to reduce plastic waste.
She has since shifted her full-time focus onto the cause and brought the “less plastic lifestyle” to a global audience via her infographics, blog and social media platforms; highlighting practical strategies to use less plastic.
7. Mark Roberts
Mark is Managing Director at PLASGRAN.
Mark has been in the plastics industry for almost 20 years, having spent time in technical and commercial roles in the rotational moulding and recycling industries.
He has presented technical papers at industry conferences, has a strong sales background and has a First Class Honours Degree in Polymer Science and Technology from the Manchester Metropolitan University.
In the past 3 years, Mark has overseen the growth of PLASgran to be one of the biggest and most profitable rigid plastic recyclers in the UK,
Russell is Co-Founder of Plastic Expert which is a recycling business providing considerable volumes of plastic waste to processors and manufacturers around the world.
Russell also works as a consultant, providing funding routes for organisations that are innovating, expanding, and require cash reinvestment to see their ambitions met.
Further experience in a diverse range of sectors includes manufacturing, civil engineering, waste management, and construction.
Lauren Singer is the Founder and CEO of Package Free, a zero-waste shop created in 2017 in Brooklyn, New York.
After graduating with a degree in Environmental Sustainability from New York University, she decided to align her lifestyle with her green heart.
She is also the founder of Trash is for Tossers, an editorial platform advocating low waste living, and has created an organic, vegan laundry detergent which she sells at Package Free. Incredibly, she can fit 8 years’ worth of trash into a 16 oz mason jar.
10. Kath Austin
Kath Austin is the founder and CEO of BeeBee Wraps, a venture that produces reusable, biodegradable beeswax food wraps which provide a sustainable alternative to plastic.
Having previously worked as a third-sector marketer and fundraiser, she has had a life-long passion for social impact.
By establishing her business, Austin wanted to reduce plastic pollution and food waste by offering a beautiful alternative that not only does the job, but does the job better.
11. Safia Qureshi
Safia is Founder and CEO of CupClub.
Safia Qureshi is an award-winning architect, designer and environmentalist.
CupClub is a circular-economy service where coffee cups are reused and deposited at drop-off points, where they are washed and reintroduced into circulation.
Qureshi is passionate about encouraging others in business to become part of the circular economy and uses her platform as a mentor at the RIBA network to inspire students.
12. Celia Pool
Celia Pool is the co-founder of DAME, a company responsible for the world’s first reusable tampon applicator.
Having previously run a UK tampon subscription service delivering popular brands to women’s homes, she and her business partner embarked on a mission to tackle the issue of plastic waste.
Pool wanted to reduce the number of disposable applicators that pollute our oceans by inventing an ethical, sustainable product that is also convenient for women. She cites the creation of DAME’s reusable tampon applicator as her biggest achievement.
13. Dr. Tom Pell
Tom Pell is the founder of the UK’s largest zero-waste supermarket The Clean Kilo.
After completing his PhD in Chemistry, Pell wanted to find a way to make a positive impact on our planet through his work.
Inspired by a low-waste shop he had seen in Melbourne, Australia, he began researching the idea, which has now become a successful venture reducing single-use plastic usage in the second largest city in the UK.
Feliks is currently leading Mars’s global packaging sustainability strategy with a special focus on improving circularity of flexible packaging.
He is passionate about circular economy and keen to develop systemic solutions to improve the life cycle of plastic packaging.
He has extensive business and technical experience in packaging design and recycling infrastructure, and for more than 10 years he has been involved in various sustainability positions helping companies such as Renault, Tarkett and Danone to transition towards circular economy.
15. Tristan Algera
Tristan is Co-founder of PackBack, Rotterdam Netherlands.
PackBack is the first reusable packaging solution for online food delivery in The Netherlands, founded in 2019.
The online food delivery market accounts for 21 million kilos of plastic waste every year in The Netherlands alone. This is due to the usage of single-use packaging.
PackBack wants to change the current system of single-use by implementing a system of packaging re-use.
16. Tiina Pursula
Tiina Pursula is Vice President of Sustainability at Packaging Materials division in Stora Enso, Finland.
Tiina is a sustainability professional with more than 15 years of experience in sustainability leadership positions, consulting and business development for globally operating companies in packaging and manufacturing industries.
Tiina is an expert in sustainability-driven markets, strategies for business integration of sustainability and value creation from sustainability.
17. Mitch Barlas
Mitch Barlas is President of RePack, North America at Santa Cruz, California.
Mitch is a passionate sustainability founder and leader with a demonstrated history of innovation and company building in reusable and renewable product design, product development and manufacturing, sustainable e-commerce fulfillment, and supply chain.
18. Dr. Tim Breker
Dr. Tim Breker is the founder of VYTAL in Köln, Germany.
VYTAL is a smart and sustainable packaging-as-service business. The VYTAL digital and deposit-free reusable packaging system for takeout, delivery and convenience food significantly reduce single-use packaging waste.
The development of sustainable processes is the focus of her scientific activity at BIOENG.
She has been working for over 15 years in the PHA biopolymer field, transforming bacteria in plastic making factories using waste which would otherwise end up incinerated or in a landfill.
He is currently Group Leader and Founder of the group Novel Materials and Nanotechnology at the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA) of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) located in Valencia, Spain.
As project coordinator at YPACK, professor José and his team are developing new packaging which will make use of food industry by-products (cheese whey and almond shells), assuring biodegradability, and reducing food waste, in the frame of the EU Circular Economy strategy.
21. Marko Kärkkäinen
Marko Kärkkäinen is the Chief Commercial Officer at Clewat Oy.
He has a wide knowledge of circular economy, environmental, plastic waste, food waste, healthcare and education. He has strong and deep experience in how to set up and run companies successful in Europe, China and Asia Pacific. He has three decades of experience in sales, general management, marketing, branding in Europe, North America, China and Southeast Asia. Currently, Mr. Marko leads the development and strategic growth for Clewat Inc.
Clewat is a fast growing Cleantech company from Finland with the focus on solving the plastic waste, excess biomass, oil spills and other pollution problems of our oceans, seas, rivers and lakes.
Karita Kinnunen-Raudaskoski as Chief Research Officer of Paptic Ltd is highly experienced with a demonstrated history of working in the paper and forest products industry and research. She is skilled in innovation management, nanomaterials, foam, management, and polymer chemistry.
Kartia Kinnunen-Raudaskosk in Paptic Ltd is working on revolutionary new material made of wood fibres for enabling sustainable companies to shift from plastics to renewable, recyclable and reusable packaging materials.
Henna Pääkkonen-Alvim is the Senior Vice President, Containerboard Business unit at Stora Enso.
She is an expert in the paper & board and packaging industry with over 20 years of hands-on experience from various fields such as global sales management, key account management, general management, controlling, restructuring as well as innovation. Currently, she leads the containerboard business unit at Stora Enso.
Henna has strong knowledge of packaging and the FMCG industry. Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper on global markets from Finland.
24. Anna Cummin
Anna Cummin is the Co-Founder and Deputy Director at The 5 Gyres Institute.
She is an experienced sustainability leader with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. She has strong business development professional skills in non-profit organizations, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, environmental issues, and sustainable business and is Deputy Director at The 5 Gyres Institute and her focus currently relates to coalition building, environmental justice, and intersectional movements.
The 5 Gyres Institute is dedicated to understanding and communicating the issue of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. They also completed the first global survey on plastic pollution in all 5 subtropical gyres in 2011 for finding plastic throughout. The results are utilized to engage companies, communities, and individuals in realistic, land-based solutions to stem the flow of plastics to our seas.
25. Sami Kääpä
Sami Kääpä is the Vice President, Sales and Systems at MariMatic Oy.
He has more than 20 years of experience in engineering systems, electrical development and technical management as well as high technology global system services. In MariMatic Oy, his field of expertise relates to meeting challenging cost, schedule and scope targets in the waste management environment.
MariMatic Oy, as a member of the MariGroup companies has developed innovative products for an automated solid waste collection system (AWCS), helping a circular system to manage waste. Sami is an international business leader for South Korea and Japan sales for Metro Taifun and Taifun waste management systems.
Boyan Slat is an inventor and entrepreneur who creates technology to solve societal problems. The founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup has from a very young age has seen the importance of reducing plastic usage and how plastic affects the oceans and has been actively working on this since the age of 18.
He dropped out from Aerospace Engineering from TU Delft and has been working on developing advanced technologies to get rid of plastic from the world’s oceans since then.
Simon Bernard is an entrepreneur who is the co-founder and the CEO of Plastic Odyssey. With his educational background in the Merchant navy and holding a master’s degree in Maritime Sciences, he later worked at the Ministry of Ecological Transition as a public interest entrepreneur.
He later carried on to Plastic Odyssey which was aimed towards getting rid of plastic pollution from the Oceans using their high-end technological ships which will help transform the waste into resources like construction material, new objects and energy.
They aim to achieve the reduction of plastic usage and wastage by the start of year 2021.
Alexandre Dechelotte is an entrepreneur who is the co-founder and the COO of Plastic Odyssey along with Simon Bernard, CEO of Plastic Odyssey. With his educational background in the Merchant navy and having a Machine Officer Certificate for unlimited tonnage ships, he has the title of “élevé Master” at the National Maritime School that he worked in.
He later founded his own company called Greenactive which was an ecological and economical project to “Gain from Recycling” and also took over a new challenge of Plastic Odyssey.
He is an entrepreneur, who pursued his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and later pursued his master’s in management from the London Business School.
He has been involved in several internship experiences in the sales, product development and Business Development sectors and since 2018 shifted his focus more towards the plastic issue in the world as he worked as an Ambassador at A Plastic Planet. In the same year, he started at Ocean Bottle and now works towards driving an impact in the spaces of environment, economic development and social equality.
30. Nick Doman
Nick Doman is the Co-founder and COO at Ocean Bottle.
He is a British entrepreneur, who pursued his Master’s in Management from the London Business School and later went on to work as a VC Investment analyst for a couple of months. He later started at Ocean Bottle along with William Pearson and now they are working towards driving an impact in the spaces of environment, economic development and social equality. They have received awards for their mission.
31. Inty Gronneberg
Inty Gronneberg is the CEO of Ichthion Limited and also is an Ambassador of the environment due to his aim of having a positive impact on the earth.
Having a very strong background in business and sustainability, he is actively contributing to the aim of committing to generating new ways of doing things in Ecuador – based on Circular Economy to develop opportunities at an economic level with a positive social impact – and protecting the environment.
Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Notpla.
He is a Designer, Architect, and Inventor. Notpla is a London based start-up with the goal of making packaging disappear.
The company is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, won the World Technology Award by Fortune and TIME, the WIRED start-up of the year and currently is the first Innovator in Residency of SKY. His previous experience as a product designer helps him achieve his goals at Notpla.
Pierre-Yves Paslier is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Notpla.
He is a French Innovation Design Engineer and Entrepreneur based in London. He started his career being a Packaging Engineer for L’Oréal in the daytime and hacking 3D-printers in his living room at night. In 2014 he co-founded Gravity Sketch, a VR 3D design platform and Skipping Rocks Lab, a sustainable packaging company.
He’s the co-founder and co-CEO of NOTPLA as well as the Co-CEO of Skipping Rocks Lab, where its main product is Ooho, an edible water sachet made of seaweed. He has given a number of conferences about his projects including TEDx conferences in Athens and Warwick.
34. Ana Milhazes
Ana Milhazes is the founder of Zero Waste Portugal.
She is a sociologist, trainer, environmental activist, yoga instructor, author of the blog Ana, Go Slowly and founder of the Zero Waste Portugal movement. After being diagnosed with Burnout and Depression Syndrome, it was her opportunity to live according to her beliefs.
She followed her mission: to make the world a better place and inspire those around her to live more sustainably, for themselves and for the planet. She has delivered more than 200 lectures and workshops across the country and written a book called “Zero Waste Life – Learn to live more simply, sustainably and happily”.
35. Sergio Ribeiro
Serigo Ribeiro is the CEO and Co Founder of Planetiers.
At 26, he had completed his master degree in Biological Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Portugal and together with a partner created a platform which was one of the breakthrough projects to represent Portuguese innovation at Web Summit.
Planetiers is a platform that aggregates information, products and services focused on reducing the waste of resources, be it water, electricity or textile, and the use of fossil fuels and other pollutants. Planetiers World Gathering will be the world’s biggest event for sustainable innovation happening in October, in Lisbon.
Joana Dias Da Cunha is the CEO and Founder of FairBazaar – Ethical living.
She had been working in the fashion industry for several years, until she felt that what she was doing did not align with her values. The mission of Fair Bazaar is to create alternatives, making known products that have a positive impact on the environment and society,
37. Ana Salcedo
Ana Salcedo Co-founder at Zero Waste Lab. With a background in Art & Design, Photography and Fashion Marketing, Ana has worked in several projects between Portugal and Brazil.
At Zero Waste Lab, she tests solutions for waste reduction and community engagement, connecting people and knowledge in the materials lifecycle and zero-waste movement.
She defines herself as a builder of possible and improbable bridges, enthusiast of creative collaboration, of brave and responsible transformation, of the elevation of the human potential to the harmonic vibration of the planet, in service of life.
Joseph Vaillancourt is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Agilyx. He brings more than 25 years of operational, financial, and strategic experience in industrial, environmental and energy innovation and infrastructure development. Launched in 2006, the Oregon-based start-up created a fully recyclable polystyrene, the same material used to make the infamous red Solo cups.
Prior to Agilyx, Joseph spent 15 years at Waste Management where he was one of the founding members of the corporate venturing group responsible for developing new and innovative growth platforms in the environmental, sustainability, solid waste, recycling, energy and cleantech sectors.
39. Miranda Wang
Miranda Wang is the Co-Founder and CEO at BioCellection.
She is the founder and CEO of BioCellection, an organization using chemical technology to recycle plastics. Founded in 2015, the California-based start-up developed a technology that converts plastic bags into things like ski jackets and eco-friendly solvents.
In 2018, at 24 years old, Wang received the UN Environment Programme’s Young Champions of the Earth award. Miranda Wang received this award for recognition of her work to help tackle the plastic crisis by developing a recycling solution for unrecyclable plastic waste.
Dr. Domenico Centrone is the CEO & Co-Founder at Eggplant.
He has a Ph.D. in Management & Industrial Engineering. Founded in 2013, the Italian start-up Eggplant, created a biodegradable plastic alternative that’s made using a zero-waste process. It’s also non-toxic, which is important for consumer-packaged goods and agriculture. Domenico has other businesses such as a Celery which is a nutrition company providing health benefits.
41. Luís Carvalho
With a background in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Luis is the founder and CEO of Jordilis.
As a transforming industry, specialized in fabricating anti-shock protectors using bi-ondulated papers, Jordilis products aim to tackle the issues associated with plastic packaging, replacing them by cardboard, in several industries such as food, wine and even ceramics. Their core belief is that by being a human and eco-friendly company, they built the foundations for added value creation and future sustainability.
42. Carlos Ramalho
Carlos is the Sales Manager at United Biopolymers. As a chemical engineer, his career path has enabled him to manage large-scale technological projects between Portugal and Brazil.
UB has developed a technology that produces biodegradable, compostable bio based plastic packaging solutions, creating a scalable and reliable supply chain by licensing their BIOPAR Technology to compounders around the world.
43. David Stover
Davis Stover is the CEO and founder of Bureo Skateboards. He has a strong background in financial analysis and has with Bureo highlighted the value in plastic waste.
Having grown up in a small island community renowned for environmental conservation, he attributes his love for the ocean and appreciation of his surroundings to his upbringing. Stover co-founded Bureao in a bid to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up polluting our oceans.
The company manufactures products like skateboards and clothing from discarded fish nets, saving over 800,000 lbs of fish nets since 2013.
44. Ryan Schoenike
Ryan Schoenike is the co-founder and President of Ocean Cycle. He has travelled around the world engaging communities and companies throughout the plastic value chain.
With a realisation of the growing threat to health from plastic pollution in our oceans, Ryan Schoenike teamed up with Robert Goodwin to found this network that brings together brands, retailers, distributors and manufacturers to make millions of products to strengthen the circular economy and reduce ocean plastic.
Schoenike has a long-standing commitment to plastic reduction; prior to OceanCycle, he co-founded Norton Point, a company aiming to reduce ocean plastic by transforming waste into sunglasses.
45. Quang Dinh
Quang Dinh is the CEO of Girlfriend Collective. With a background in mechanical engineering and focus on sustainability, Quang co-founded this sustainable activewear brand along with his wife, Ellie.
Their company manufactures gym leggings ethically, with the majority of each garment being made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets. Prior to Girlfriend Collective, Dinh had launched his own denim company aged 22, using organic materials with a focus on environmental and social impact.
Idalina Gonçalves is the project coordinator at POTATOPLASTIC . As a scientific researcher with a background in Biochemistry and Food Chemistry she has been working with agro industry byproducts for food packaging application.
This project consists of the development of starch-based bioplastics using potato chips industry byproducts. Ultimately, the scientists aim to develop colorimetric materials that respond to changes in the physical-chemical properties of food as indicators of time, temperature, pH, or freshness, allowing consumers to assess the quality of their food.
47. Brianne West
Brianne West is the founder and CEO of Ethique.
After becoming frustrated with the amount of package waste produced in the cosmetics industry, Brianne founded her company with a view to selling solid beauty bars packaged without plastic. Whilst studying for her Bachelor of Science, West used her student loan to fund her business venture, initially producing a kilogram of products a week to sell to friends and family.
Since then, Ethique has saved over 8 million plastic bottles from going to landfill.
48. Cátia Curica
Cátia Curica is the CEO at Unii Organic Skin Food. Graduated in Pharmacy and, later, in Chinese Medicine, she has always gravitated towards a healthy lifestyle.
Together with her sister she opened the first bio store specialized in the area of natural cosmetics in Portugal, Organii.
Later, she created her own cosmetic brand, Unii, made with natural Portuguese ingredients. When it comes to packaging, this brand has a unique approach, selling bulk, avoiding plastic, prioritising glass in a zero waste mindset.
49. Chelsea Briganti
Chelsea Fawn Briganti is the co-founder and CEO of LOLIWARE, creator of the world’s first certified edible material technology to replace plastic. An award-winning social innovator and industrial designer, Briganti launched LOLIWARE in 2015 with a seaweed-based edible cup.
Prior to founding LOLIWARE, Briganti graduated top of her class at the Parsons School of Design and went on to build innovation pipelines for global CPG companies Coca Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, and L’Oreal, with a lens on sustainable packaging and food tech.
51. Isabel Ferreira
Isabel Ferreira is the project Coordinator at SafeSpray. As a portuguese scientist specializing in the agrifood area, she is one of the most cited researchers in the world, having been distinguished in the past years by the Web of Science Group.
Currently serving as Secretary of State for the Enhancement of the Interior, professor Isabel Ferreira has led the research group which developed SafeSpray, a spray based on natural, sustainable and edible ingredients that aims to be an alternative to the plastic used for the preservation of food, such as packaging and other containers, maintaining the characteristics of the food and preventing oxidation and contamination.
52. John Bissell
John Bissell is the founder and CEO at Origin Materials.
He graduated from Rio Americano High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at UC Davis. Origin Materials was founded in 2008, this startup created bio-based plastic bottles containing 80% renewable materials like cardboard and sawdust.
Half of its capital investment to date has come from major food corporations like Nestlé and Danone.
53. Eunice Maia
Eunice Maia is the co-founder and CEO at Maria Granel. Having dedicated her life to teaching and researching literature, Eunice was the first European woman to create a 21st century Zero Waste grocery store.
Maria Granel arose from the desire to recover the image of traditional childhood grocery stores and reintroduce them in the big city.
Faced with the numbers of food waste and the amount of waste that each Portuguese generated at the time, she decided to introduce the BYOC system (bring your own container) in the national market. There are workshops open to the public at the store and she also presents lectures on environmental education at schools throughout the country.
54. James Keetley
James Keetley is the co-Founder of Less Plastics UK.
He has 25 years experience in Procurement, Operations and Commercial Leadership, in both private and public sector organisations in multiple industries. Keetley was director of Accenture for 7 years where he led Supply Chain and Procurement transformation for many of the world’s leading brands.
He shares these skills with Less Plastic enabling them to scale-up their impact, while also helping the businesses to reduce plastic in their supply chains in a cost neutral way.
55. Romeu Videira
Romeu Videira is the project coordinator at “Improvement of chicken feathers wastes through the bioplastics synthesis”. As a researcher with a background in Biochemistry, he has developed a method to create bioplastics which consists of using feathers to generate a film that has mechanical properties similar to those of polyethylene, resembling plastic.
This project is not only a great alternative for the use of poultry waste, but it can also reduce the pollution caused by replacing plastics of petrochemical origin.
56. Adrian Griffiths
Adrian Griffiths is the founder and CEO at Recycling Technologies. Prior to founding Recycling Technologies in 2011 Adrian co-founded two successful UK businesses: OEE Consulting and Vendigital. He is an experienced business leader within the manufacturing sector, a Chartered Engineer with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College.
Griffiths’s main achievement has been to help RT build a talented and diverse team that aligns with the belief that we can do better, a team that now has the potential to change the story of plastic. Through a decade of research, engineering and collaboration with academia, it has developed a proprietary, patented technology to recycle mixed plastic waste.
57. Catarina Matos
Catarina Matos is the founder and CEO at Mind The Trash. With a background in Architecture, Catarina decided to take action after living abroad and realizing the amount of plastic used in food packaging.
Mind The Trash is a Portuguese blog and online sales store where you can find tutorial videos, recommendations, discussions on topics related to sustainability. Recently, she has created her own brand selling solid shampoo, solid dishwashing soap, among other products which aim to reduce plastic consumption.
58. Monique Maissan
Monique Maissan is the CEO and founder of Waste2Wear. She is a Dutch entrepreneur and textile engineer specialized in Circular Economic solutions for the textile industry. Maissan leads a committed team towards sustainable innovation using textile products made from recycled plastic to create a positive environmental impact.
Monique has also founded various social programs, including Waste2Weave, designed to improve the livelihood of Indian women working on hand-looms, while taking plastic out of the environment.
59. Alex Schulze
Co-Founder and Co-CEO at 4Ocean, Allex studies entrepreneurial and small business operations at Florida Atlantic University. As an avid surfer, he is one half of the team behind 4Ocean, a company that converts garbage from the ocean into bracelets for general sale.
The charity, which employs more than 250 people, claims to have removed over 4 million kg of trash from the ocean since 2017, and has had its products worn by models during New York Fashion week.
60. Stephen Emmerson
Stephen became a full time employee in 1994, and has been President and CEO of Emmerson Packaging since 2004. Emmerson Packaging is the sustainable supply chain partner your customers and your bottom line will appreciate. Stephen holds a Masters in Business Administration, a BA in Psychology, and a diploma in biblical studies. He is presently a Board Member for EPC Industries and the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS).
Stephen is a member of several organizations, including The Executive Committee (TEC), the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, the Flexographic Technical Association, and the Packaging Association of Canada.
Pete Ceglinski is the CEO and Co-Founder of Seabin Project. Pete is an Aussie surfer who in 2015 successfully crowdfunded an invention designed to rid our waterways of rubbish. The Seabin Project went viral and has quickly become one of the most environmentally promising ways of turning the tide in our planet’s war against plastics. With a background of product design combined with ten years of boat building for high-end racing yacht teams, the switch to developing a Seabin that cleans the oceans has proved invaluable for the development of the Seabin Project and its educational programs. Along with the development of the Seabin Project as a business, Pete is heavily involved in the technical design and development of the products.
Janne is the founder at Koepala Packaging Ltd, which offers innovative packaging solutions. He is an inventor and entrepreneur with special skills in packaging innovation, packaging design, R&D Projects, NPD and Food Technology.
He has worked on international packaging design projects with many food and packaging manufacturing companies such as Amcor Flexibles, A&R Carton, Huhtamaki and Pyroll Group as well as with dairy and confectionery companies in the Nordic region, Russia and UAE. With the vision in reducing waste. Janne Asikainen and Koepala provide customers sustainable and smart packaging solutions.
Markku Hämäläinen is CEO of Kotkamills that accelerates the adoption of plastic-free options in convenience packaging with its board offerings. Markku has international experience in all paper making operations improvement areas, like production efficiency, product quality, sales support, cost reductions, maintenance operations, product development and conversion of machines to new products. Markku and his team have brought a solution to market utilizing the power from wood for the plastic-free packing industry.
Jakko Kaminen is the founder and CEO of Woodly that has developed wood-based and transparent packaging materials.
Jakko is a start-up entrepreneur who previously worked in marketing and communications specialist positions. Woodly is a plastic-based on wood cellulose and a Finnish innovation that renews the forest sector and supports the circular economy. The new type of wood plastic has aroused international interest, as it can be recycled with existing technology.
Tuomas Mustonen is the founder and CEO of Paptic Ltd. He is an experienced managing director in the paper and forest products industry. He is skilled in marketing management, innovation management, international business, venture capital and management.
Tuomas Mustonen is a strong entrepreneurship professional with a MBA focused on International Finance and Global Marketing from Aalto university. He and his team are one of the pioneers in the fight against plastics, with the mission of providing an alternative to plastic. They are making an effort to save our globe and the team was recognized as the winner for “Bio-based product” of the Year 2017.
Laura and Suvi are founders of Sulapac. Both of these two women started their academic career as biochemists specializing in biomaterials. However, after realising the large amounts of plastic used in our life and ending up in nature, they decided to start their own business Sulapac. The business idea was to use sustainable material including wood from industrial side streams to replace plastic packaging. With 100% BIODEGRADABLE, 0% MICROPLASTICS solution commitment Suvi, Laura won the first position in Luxe pack green award in Monaco 2018 and became one of the 100 hottest Startup by WIRED during the same year. With their team, these two women set their vision mission as saving the world from plastic waste.
Tarja Heikkilä is a Managing Director at Jospak. Experienced and energetic leader in the packaging and food industries. Passionate about boosting customers’ businesses through sustainable solutions and continuous development of internal operations. Leadership positions in sales and marketing, sourcing and logistics in the international business environment. Jospak tray combines the best functionalities of board and plastics. There is up to 85% less plastic, but still preserving the food fresh. The tray is fully recyclable as such or the materials can be separated after consuming the food and recycled in their own waste streams. The outer surface of the board can be printed and thus the Jospak tray increases brand recognition without any additional materials, such as carton sleeves on the sales packaging. The tray is compatible with the customer’s existing, automatic packaging process, also in the MAP process.
With a master’s degree focused on Business Systems Analysis and Design from City University London, Ashfakur Rahman is the owner and Director at sustainable fashion company ADKN. Selling 100% animal free, environmentally friendly products such as clothing made from recycled PET bottles, ADKN won the Chamber of Commerce’s award for Green Business of the Year. Alongside ADKN, Rahmen owns and is the Director at Fina Electric, a Bangladesh-based company specialising in the production and manufacturing of raw electric components using recycled materials. He also co-owns and is the Director at Kingstar Electric, a company specialising in assembling raw electric components into finished goods, which are then supplied to both local and international markets.
Catherine Conway founded Unpackaged, the world’s first modern Zero Waste retailer in 2006, where she is also the Director. Ever since, she has pioneered different approaches to Zero Waste within retail and foodservice. Unpackaged set up refill systems for clients and provides bespoke consultancy services to a wide range of small businesses, corporate and government agencies to design and implement zero-waste packaging solutions. Having also held the position of Senior Account Manager at the Sustainable Restaurant Association, Conway consulted on all aspects of sustainability in hospitality and corporate social responsibility.
Molly Moore is the co-founder and COO at SUPER and Single-Use Plastic Elimination and Reduction, a management consulting firm which uses SUPER™ technology to help businesses calculate and reduce their single-use plastic footprint.
Moore has had eight years’ experience innovating client specific tools and processes in order to reduce environmental impact, having worked across private, public and NGO sectors. She has been recognised as a certified Zero Waste Business Associate by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council.
Sian Sutherland is a co-founder of A Plastic Planet, a business whose goal is “to ignite and inspire the world to turn off the plastic tap”. Their focus is to reduce the use of conventional plastic, particularly single-use and that used in packaging.
With a background in marketing and campaigns and having won awards such as Female Marketer of the Year, CEW Achiever Award, Entrepreneur of the Year and British Inventor of the Year, Sutherland has used her expertise within her business to create a global impact. This includes working collaboratively with industry, retailers, governments, legislators and the UN.
Hanna Pumfrey is the founder of Acala, a zero-waste online shop which sells organic, natural, vegan skincare and beauty products. Knowing the difficulties of living in the city whilst trying to lead a sustainable existence, Pumfrey founded the brand to make plastic-free purchasing as easy as shopping on the high street.
With a background in marketing, she has used her expertise to create her successful brand alongside her role as Social Media Lead for Europe at Accenture. Pumfrey is also the founder and editor at Flor and Cesta, a sustainable living platform that supports city-dwellers in transitioning into a sustainable and low-waste way of life.
Abigail and Jamie Forsyth are the founders of KeepCup, ‘the world’s first barista-standard reusable cup’. Abigail is also Managing Director at the company. The siblings set up their business in Melbourne in 1998 after recognising the lack of an alternative to the millions of disposable, plastic-lined coffee cups being sent to landfill every minute. Since then, they have prevented billions of take-away cups from being dumped. Jamie is also the founder and CEO of Returnr, an environmental initiative aiming to replace single-use takeaway packaging with reusable alternatives, and Beetbox, a company that created the ‘world’s first portable Glass Lunch Bowl’.
Ed Davies is the CEO and co-founder of Wearth London, an eco-friendly and ethical platform whose key aim is to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced by online shopping. Using Wearth, people can discover contemporary independent brands with strong environmental and ethical values in a community which supports the growth of its businesses. Having overseen two international projects which empowered disadvantaged people through sustainable business whilst President of Enactus Durham, Davies has since used his expertise to expand his own venture. A finalist for UK Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Davies hopes his business will make it easier for consumers to shop consciously in order to protect the planet for generations to come.
Merjin Everaarts is the founder and owner of Dopper, a company selling durable, sustainably produced reusable water bottles made from 100% recyclable plastic. The business has also launched education programmes, awareness campaigns and research in addition to drinking water projects in Nepal using the proceeds from the bottles. After being frustrated over the number of PET bottles and plastic bags being used and discarded, Everaarts pitched a concept with the Haarlem Legacy and launched a competition for the perfect reusable bottle. Everaarts has a history of green entrepreneurship, having previously co-founded Flow, a platform which aims to create a cleaner world with fewer cars and less traffic by bringing self-driving cars into the sharing economy.
Ruby Raut is the CEO and co-founder of Wuka Wear, a women’s underwear brand which has created leak-proof period-pants. Wuka was launched in a bid to tackle the waste produced by conventional sanitary pads and tampons, reducing the plastic destined to end up in our oceans.
A passionate environmental scientist, Raut is also a Food Waste Committee Member at Sustainable St Albans, helping to design and deliver projects on awareness about food waste. In addition, she is the Project Co-ordinator of the Environmenstrual Project at the Women’s Environmental Network, where she organises sustainable and chemical free beauty products workshops for East London communities.
Kimmo Kontuniemi at WasteD turns the mixed waste plastic into high-quality oil which can be fed back to the plastic industry for making new plastic products.
Kimmo is an expert in chemical recycling and waste management. His expertise focus is on turning waste plastic to fuel production through innovative and eco-friendly industrial processes for converting waste plastic into high-quality synthetic fuel.
His observations of landfills and lack of waste management in a number of African or Asian countries made to think of a business opportunity for Finland. Kimmo aimed to make a positive impact on global climate change by using advanced knowledge and machinery from Finland to the countries where the problem exists.
Charles Héaulmé is the President and CEO of Huhtamaki.
He has an impressive record of leading businesses and people with the capability to bring new perspectives and teams together with great results. Charles Héaulmé has the vision, global experience and deep understanding of the food packaging industry to steer Huhtamaki into the next era.
Moreover, on social media such as Linkedin, Charles Héaulmé actively shares and shows concern for green solutions.
79. Mika Salomäki
Mika Salomäki is the CEO and founder at Dolea Ltd. that is a cleantech company
producing recyclable and biodegradable straws. Mika is an entrepreneur who is adaptable to new challenges for finding alternative and innovative solutions. He has solid experience in different areas and roles like R&D engineer, Software Developer, Outsourcing Sales Manager, Sales Director, Attorney in Patent Office, and Production Director as such.
The sustainable Dolea straws transform drinking straw production and consumption from linear to circular economy, a disruption on a global scale.
Willemijn Peeters is the CEO and Founder of Searious Business in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Willemijn accelerates innovation projects in collaboration with companies to use and scale up business solutions and book results to reduce plastic waste through her various roles as innovator, accelerator, strategic advisor, ocean ambassador, moderator at meetings with a diverse range of stakeholders.
Her strength lies in building bridges between companies and public organizations, and thinking of innovative solutions together. 10 Years of experience with collaboration and carrying out change in a corporate setting.
81. Joe Frankel
Joe Frankel is the founder and CEO at Vegeware, a company which has been manufacturing compostable packaging and take-away products using renewable, plant-based materials since 2006.
Vegeware’s products span from straws to coffee cups to food boxes, significantly reducing the amount of non-biodegradable plastic waste going to landfill and polluting our environment.
When Frankel noticed a spoon in a farmer’s market made from potatoes and cornstarch, his concept was born; since then, he has led his business into the global arena and is working towards being a ‘visionary brand’, aiming to pave the way to zero-waste in the food industry.
82. Lucy Hughes
Lucy Hughes is the founder of MarinaTex. Whilst studying Product Design, Lucy developed an interest in utilising waste products and looking to nature for inspiration.
Marinatex main components are sourced from the sea, including agar from red algae and waste from fish processing plants, namely fish skins and scales. This product is strong, translucent and flexible, making it a possible alternative for single-use packaging such as bags and sandwich wrappers.
83. Tom van Aken
Tom van Aken is the CEO at Avantium. With a background in Chemistry by Utrecht University, van Aken has since 2002 been in the lead of Avantium.
Avantium develops innovative chemistry technologies across industry value chains in order to produce chemicals and materials based on renewable feedstock instead of fossil resources, transforming algae sugar into polymer molecules that serve as raw material for the production of plastic bottles.
In 2012, the company established a partnership with Danone, the number two worldwide in the bottled water market.
84. Oliver Drzyzga
Oliver Drzyzga is the manager at Susplast. With a PhD in Natural Sciences with focus on Environmental Microbiology, Drzyzga has been a part of several research projects including bioremediation of contaminated soil containing explosives and other xenobiotics.
In April 2019 he took over the management of SusPlast. Belonging to the Spanish National Research Council, this interdisciplinary platform for sustainable plastics towards a circular economy aims to provide new biochemical routes for the synthesis of bio-based building-blocks for sustainable bioplastics production.
Among the European projects concerning plastic issues, there is a range of solutions spanning from wood based, seaweed and microbial integration into new plastic materials.
85. Lolke Sijtsma
Lolke Sijtsma is the project manager at SPLASH – Sustainable PoLymers from Algae Sugars and Hydrocarbons.
Sijtsma has a background and training in microbiology and biotechnology has been working at Wageningen Research, Food & Biobased Research for over 25 years.
This project aims to utilize microalgae production on an industrial scale which will provide new opportunities for decreased dependency on fossil feedstocks and potentially contribute to climate mitigation and reduced pressure on land resources.
86. Shu Zhang
Shu Zhang is the CEO and Co-founder of Pandobac. She has studied Industrial Engineering and Entrepreneurship at Ecole Centrale, Paris.
Shu is also passionate about food and gastronomy, so she founded the Maguey Restaurant 2014 in Paris that was awarded by the famous French gastronomic guide Gault et Millau in 2018.
Due to her environmental values and especially concerns to waste generation, she created Pandobac to replace disposable packaging for food transport with reusable crates.
Janne is an expert in the pulp and paper industry especially in nanocellulose and fibre foam technology. He was responsible for VTT’s unique pilot scale research infrastructures in the Forest sector.
With a Ph.D. in physics and working as head of research in fibers and bio-based materials, Janne was managing the internal business development project targeting to establish a new VTT spin off company. Spinnova is a new and innovative R&D company that produces the most sustainable fiber in the world by turning cellulose and waste streams into textile without dissolving or any harmful chemicals.
88. Lindsey McCoy
Lindsey McCoy is a co-founder and the CEO at Plaine Products, a sustainable packaging company providing returnable, refillable reusable aluminium bottles full of shampoos, conditioners and body washes made with all natural, vegan, formulas.
She founded the brand together with her sister, Alison Webster, after deciding to do something about the mountain of plastic which held their beauty products scattered around their bathrooms.
Having previously held the position of CEO at Friends of the Environment and Save The Bays, McCoy has an extensive history of putting her business expertise to green use.
89. Rob Knight
Rob Knight is the Founder and CEO of Ecoegg, a reusable Laundry Egg which can be refilled with laundry detergent and conditioner pellets, minimising the plastic waste involved in doing clothes washing.
The brand has received the ‘Getting Greener’ accreditation from the Good Housekeeping Institute to recognise efforts towards sustainability and ‘Reducing Plastic’.
Knight won Entrepreneur of the year at the 2014 Kent Excellence in Business Awards.
90. Luís Simões
Luis Simões is the Co-founder at Soditud. Simões is an Eco- Entrepreneur, responsible for the implementation of brands with a sustainable matrix.
With a background in marketing, this enthusiast for new products focused on sustainability is always on the lookout for traditional items that can be turned into “food”. This startup seeks for environmentally friendly examples from international companies such as Biotrem from Poland and Sorbos from Spain, introducing them to the Portuguese market.
Hans Axel Kristensen is the CEO of Plastix. He has had a range of experience in other business related jobs, such as the International HR Director for the Carlsberg group, but Plastix is his first green company.
His vision for the company is to provide a sustainable solution for preventive action, to combat plastic pollution and ensure cleaner environments and oceans. This is done by the manufacturing of Green Plastic for the Circular Economy.
92. Alexander Nolte
Alexander Notle is Co-founder of Langbrett and founder of Stop! Micro Waste.
After co-founding Langbrett, sustainable surf, skate and outdoor brand, Alexander Nolte and partner Oliver Spies realised they needed to solve the problem of microfibers – plastic material which sheds from synthetic fabrics and pollutes our waterways.
Their solution, Guppyfriend, is a mesh laundry bag which catches these microfibers as a garment is being washed, preventing them from escaping. Nolte is also the founder of Stop! Micro Waste, a nonprofit initiative to explore and initiate ideas on how to avoid, replace and reuse plastics.
Juha Mäkelä and Jonne Hellgren are Founders of RePack.
Juha and Jonne are founders of a design agency, Plan B From Outer Space Oy, a Finnish company focused on sustainable product and business model solutions. While working on a project with the Finnish Post office they realised how many packages are wasted and decided to create a reusable package, based on the Finnish system of bottle deposit return.
In 2 years, they prevented the disposal of 50.000 single use packages. RePack equals 20 disposable packages. They’ve got positive feedback from all the 50 partners across 10 European countries and now they are looking to scale it up and make it available all around Europe and in the US. RePack is a packaging service which enables the return and reuse of delivery packaging for online retailers and their users.
94. Esa Torniainen
Esa Torniainen is the Business Development Director at Paptic Ltd.
Paptic has been established in April 2015 as a spin-off from VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland. Paptic is a technology start-up company focusing on replacement of plastics by renewable and recyclable fibre based materials.
Esa is highly experienced in helping top scientists and specialists in taking the novel processes, raw materials and technology concepts to the market. Previously, he was working as Business Development Manager and Development Manager at VTT.
95. Suhas Dixit
Suhas Dixit is the founder of ApChemi company based in Mumbai, India.
Suhas is an expert in chemical recycling of plastic waste including multi-polymer and multi-material as well as end of life plastic waste. He has solid experience in technology development and technology licencing for pyrolysis of mixed plastic, multilayer plastic, PET, PVC, RDF, tyre, biomass, waste oil, waxes, soap and sludge. Suhas has expertise of pyrolysis plant design, manufacture, EPC, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance.
He is also a consultant in the domain of Pyrolysis for troubleshooting, planning and sustainable development.
Suhas reminds that it’s time to awaken our conscience for recycling the plastic waste in a sustainable and cost-efficient manner as the technology and solutions are available as a matter of fact.
96. Gaurav Paul
Gaurav Paul is a postgraduate in marketing and now he is the Business development Manager at Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd Hyderabad, India. Gaurav has concerns about environmental issues, sustainability, marine pollution, climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Currently, he is handling extended producer responsibility (EPR) for brand owners and plastic waste management related business activities. He has more than 10 years of experience in plastic waste management, sales, and procurement domain in the manufacturing and trading environment of metals and plastics.
97. Amit Tandon
Amit Tandon is the founder and CEO at PolyCycl that is a circular economy company focused on ‘non-recyclable’ waste plastics in Chandigrah, India.
Amit has multiple international patents related to plastic recycling technologies. With more than 10 years of experience, he has led his team across 4 generations of technology development in this sector.
Together with a committed R&D team, Mr. Tandon has developed a differentiated, patented technology for converting waste plastics to high-value petroleum fuels and petrochemical feedstock.
98. Paras Saluja
Paras Saluja is an entrepreneur, inventor, environmentalist and TEDx Speaker who is the Founder and Director of Shayna Ecounified, India. This innovation-based company recycles plastic waste into High-Density Composite polymer (HDCP) tiles.
Being an environmentalist and founder of Shayna Econunified, Mr Saluja has inspired several young entrepreneurs as he continues to narrate his story as a TEDx speaker.
In more than two years existance of Shayna Econunified, it has been admired by CNBC, BBC, CNN, YourStory, The Logical Indian and Brut India. Such applauses enabled Mr Saluja to get onboard several governmental bodies and private companies like L’oreal, TATA Motors, Municipal Corporations of Gurugram and Hyderabad to solve plastic pollution crisis by deploying HDCP tiles in their principal offices.
99. Shailendra Singh
Shailendra Singh is the founder and CEO of SustainMantra.
Shailendra is a sustainable development strategist with more than 30 years of experience in the chemicals, plastics and packaging industry with senior leadership roles.
With concerns regarding sustainability, circular economy and plastic waste management, Mr. Shailendra Singh believes that impactful climate change mitigating actions rests on developing viable business models for the new world.
100. Peter Wang Hjemdahl
Peter Wang Hjemdahl is the co-founder of rePurpose Global, the world’s first plastic credit platform aiming for world’ transition to plastic neutrality.
Mr. Hjemdahl is a Chinese-Norwegian social entrepreneur and international development strategist. He has professional experience spanning 10 countries (India, Singapore, China, Morocco, Jordan, Ethiopia, UK, Norway, US, Zambia) and in five sectors (circular economy, sustainable cities, health technology & global health, renewable energy & energy access, affordable education.
With a passion about building powerful movements and circular systems, he believes in solving the climate change problem systematically while empowering more than 500 million members of the urban poor worldwide.
Peter Wang Hjemdahl, as a young entrepreneur and innovator had several achievements worldwide so far. A few of them to mention include: Lead2030 Winner, Forbes 30 Under 30, TEDx speaker (2019), St. Gallen Symposium Leader of Tomorrow, World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, and President’s Engagement Prize recipient (2018) as such.
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