AMSA Public Lecture
Title: Plastic Free July: thinking globally, acting locally
Date: Wednesday 10 July
Venue: Notre Dame
Time: 6.30pm – 8pm
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Overview: Ocean plastic pollution, waste and the recycling “crisis” are hot topics. Cleaning up plastic waste and improving recycling systems are important but “turning off the tap” to reduce the problem at the source is critical. Plastic Free July is a global movement sharing ideas and solutions to help millions of people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. From a humble office initiative in Perth to one of the world’s most widespread environmental movements the Plastic Free July has inspired 120 million participants in 170 countries. Hear the story behind this award winning behaviour change campaign and learn how you can be part of the solution.
Speaker: Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, Founder and Director, Plastic Free Foundation
I’m passionate about helping communities address the growing plastic waste issue.
It was one day in June that changed everything. At a recycling facility, I saw the mountain of waste that one single suburb had thrown away. The enormity of it shocked me into starting an environmental campaign that would define the next decade of my life.
I am the founder and Executive Director of the ‘for-purpose’ Plastic Free Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that brings the public and business together with the vision of a world without plastic waste. While raising awareness is essential, it’s only the first step; people want to be part of the solution. It’s this drive that has seen the Plastic Free July challenge grow to a 120-million-strong community across 177 countries.
Aside from heading up company operations, I have 25 years of experience in environmental and waste management, community engagement, and sustainability behaviour change. I have attended plastic pollution research expeditions in Queensland, the Cocos Islands, and the North Atlantic Ocean and I worked alongside internationally renowned organisations during a recent Churchill Fellowship. These expeditions were crucial to observe what global and local solutions are being implemented and how these initiatives can be applied elsewhere.
I take a solutions-oriented and collaborative approach to my work and enjoy working across sectors and collaborating with my diverse network. I’m a seasoned public speaker and have been invited to present on the subjects of Plastic Free July, waste avoidance, plastic pollution and behaviour change in Australia, New Zealand, India, USA and the UK. I’m comfortable in a wide range of settings, from inspiring international leaders to initiate change through to working with communities to clean up their local environment.
There is no “silver bullet” to solving the plastic waste problem but I believe that by working together we can make a difference.