Leading the international debate around plastic pollution

Professor Steve Fletcher

Global Research and Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) is a conference organised and run by Innovate UK KTN and hosted by the UK Circular Plastics Network (15–17 March)

  • 14 March 2022
  • 3 min read

Professor Steve Fletcher, who leads our Revolution Plastics initiative, is at the heart of global conversations about the world’s plastic crisis at two high-profile events happening this week.  

Global Research and Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) is a conference organised and run by Innovate UK KTN and hosted by the UK Circular Plastics Network (15–17 March). 

Professor Fletcher is part of the Conference opening panel discussion on day 1 – The Big Picture – A World View of Plastics & Innovative Change, with other influential speakers including Dr Kirsty Hewitson, Innovate UK KTN; Professor Sir Duncan Wingham OBE, Natural Environment Research Council; David Shukman, BBC's First Chief Science Editor, and Dr Sally Beken, Innovate UK KTN and Founder of UK Circular Plastics Network. 

On day 2 of the Conference, Professor Fletcher will open proceedings with an update on the United Nation’s Global Plastics Treaty, and share his thoughts about how this ambitious environmental agreement can help end plastic pollution. 

Professor Fletcher will also join a panel of national experts, as they explore how the UK can ensure the global plastic treaty to live up to its promise (15 March).

At the event ‘A Plastic Planet – UNEA 5:2 what next?’, Professor Fletcher will give an insight into the work being done by the University from research into the impacts of plastic on health to solutions being found in policy change. He will also reflect on the implications of the agreement on the global South.

Other panellists include Liz Bonnin, Broadcaster and Environmentalist; Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary –General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean; The Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith, Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment, DEFRA; Sian Sutherland, Co-Founder, A Plastic Planet; and David Azoulay, Director of Environmental Health, Managing Attorney Geneva Office, Centre for International Environmental Law. 

Panellists will discuss how the UK can be a driving force behind the treaty, but it must lead by example. How can the Government introduce a national action plan to combat plastic pollution across its lifecycle? How can it inspire UK businesses to collaborate with one another rather than compete in addressing the impact of plastic? How can we ensure the treaty hits at the heart of the global plastics crisis?

This free event will take place at 4.00pm on 15 March. Register here.