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Public forum: The global problem of plastic waste

April 19 @ 4:30 pm 6:30 pm

Peter Ross will join this public forum at the Harbour Centre at SFU.

The Department of Political Science is delighted to invite you to our upcoming event ‘The Global Problem of Plastic Waste’ on Friday, April 19th, featuring speakers from University of Cambridge, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), SFU, University of Surrey (UK), University of Victoria, the Raincoast Healthy Waters Program, E5 Solutions Consulting and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

  • Moderator, Andy Hira- “Introduction to the Forum- the Global Problem of Plastic Waste”
  • Bob Paul, E5 Solutions Consulting
  • Clair Lloyd, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, B.C. Government
  • Curie Park, University of Cambridge
  • Henrique Pacini, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • Mark McLaughlin and Rita Steele, SFU
  • Peter Ross, Raincoast Healthy Waters Programme
  • Rishi Gupta, University of Victoria
  • Rosalind Malcolm, University of Surrey

SFU Harbour Centre

515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3 Canada
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*Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

About the Speakers

Andy Hira is the Chair and a Professor of Political Science at Simon Fraser University. He is also the Director of the Clean Energy Research Group, which produces policy papers and consults with local community groups around climate change and sustainability.

Bob Paul is the Executive Director of E5 Solutions consulting firm. The firm is focused on ways to promote circular economies through industrial symbiosis. Bob brings 30 years of knowledge and expertise in environmental policy and programs. He is an expert in extended producer responsibility (EPR) policy and program design and implementation, lifecycle-thinking (cradle to cradle product stewardship) including navigating regulatory compliance matters for his clients. He is currently working with Caribbean states on the issue of plastic waste. Bob is also the head of the international society for industrial ecology, run through U. of Victoria.

Curie Park is a Research Associate for industrial sustainability at the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge. She has a Ph.D. from the Centre for Competitive Creative Design in Cranfield U. Dr. Park also serves as an adjunct professor at Korea U. Graduate School; the Asian Institute of Technology; and the School of Design in Dankook U., all in S. Korea. She previously worked as an entrepreneur in the clothing industry. Her focus is on industrial sustainability, with experience in the textile and forestry industries. She heads up the SMEP plastic waste project in Nepal, after completing several plastic waste business research projects in Thailand and the UK.

Henrique Pacini is a PhD economist from KTH Sweden. He works at the UN Conference on Trade and Development as an economist and programme lead. His current portfolio focuses on the circular economy, including managing UNCTAD’s part of the SMEP programme.

Mark McLaughlin, a chartered accountant by profession, is more than just numbers; he’s a community builder, a sustainability advocate, and occasionally fearless. Passionate about inspiring students to embrace entrepreneurship and social responsibility, he encourages them to dream big and make a positive impact.

At SFU, Mark oversees the various commercial units across campuses in Burnaby, Vancouver, and Surrey focusing on the student experience and campus vibrancy. He played a pivotal role in SFU achieving its Fair Trade Campus designation in 2012 and becoming Canada’s first and only Gold Fair Trade Campus in 2020. Additionally, Mark leads SFU’s Re-Use for Good initiative, aimed at reducing and eliminating single-use plastics within the university.

As the founding chair of SFU’s Sustainable Mobility Advisory Committee (SMAC), Mark addressed challenges related to active transportation and mobility, furthering SFU’s commitment to sustainability. His dedication has earned him numerous awards, recognizing his exemplary leadership in promoting environmental stewardship, social justice and volunteerism.

Peter Ross is Senior Scientist and Director of the new Raincoast Healthy Waters program. Dr. Ross is an internationally recognized ocean pollution expert, having published over 160 scientific articles and book chapters on pollutants of concern, and impacts on fish, seals and whales. He has studied a variety of contaminants of concern in the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, as well as freshwater environments. Dr. Ross is an Adjunct Professor at UBC Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and at the UVic School for Environmental Studies. He has conducted research on contaminants in BC for over 25 years, in government, university and NGO sectors. He has published over 160 scientific articles and book chapters on the fate and effects of a variety of pollutants of concern in the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. He has dedicated a career to conducting research in support of policy, education and best practices, and has advised the Government of Canada, G7, OECD and other organizations, as well as municipal and regional authorities in British Columbia. He values his ongoing work on safe traditional aquatic foods for Indigenous communities.

Rishi Gupta is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Victoria. He has previously served as the special advisor to the Dean: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). He is currently the director of the Center for Advanced Materials and Related Technology (CAMTEC). He leads the Facility for Innovative Materials and Infrastructure Monitoring (FIMIM) at UVic. His current research is focused on smart self healing cement-based composites containing supplementary cementitious materials and fiber reinforcement. His areas of interest include development of sustainable construction technologies, structural health monitoring, and non-destructive evaluation of infrastructure. His industry experience includes working as the Director of Research of Octaform Systems Inc in Vancouver.

Rita Steele was the founding chair of the Circular Economy Working Group at SFU from 2021-2022, supported the team that spearheaded the plastic bottle ban at SFU, co-launched SFU’s Recyclopedia, and continues to work on waste reduction efforts through SFU’s Strategic Sustainability Plan. Rita is also an instructor with SFU Continuing Studies’ new Climate Action

Certificate Program—launched to support professionals to enhance their climate change skills and knowledge.

Rita’s extensive community work includes championing youth climate policy engagement with the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, contributing to the creation of Vancouver’s Climate Justice Charter, and recently launching an online network for BIPOC sustainability professionals.

Rosland Malcolm is Professor of Law and a barrister at the School of Law and Director of the Environmental Regulatory Research Group, both based at the University of Surrey, UK, as well as co-Director of the Governing Plastics Network. She is an environmental lawyer specialising in ways that law can be used to protect the environment by looking at the whole governance frameworks for environmental law including not just the legislation but policy, implementation, enforcement and compliance as well as the impact of property rights. Recently she has been working on the ‘wicked problem’ of the polluting waste from plastics and how a stock-centred economy might help to stop the problem of waste. Rosalind has published widely (including monographs, co-authored books, and in peer-reviewed journals, including, the Journal of Environmental Law, European Energy and Environmental Law Review, Resources) and been involved in the guest editing of a number of journals, including Journal of Cleaner Production, the Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, and Social Sciences.