On June 18-19, 2020, ESI hosted a virtual workshop convening scientists, policy makers, foundations and the business community on the issue of mitigating the environmental harms of plastic pollution. “Plastics and the Environment: Science Meets Public Policy” was a two-day workshop to explore opportunities for policy makers and scientists to inform each other’s challenges and questions on plastic use, design, disposal and recycling. Over 170 attendees participated in panel and plenary sessions, joined breakout sessions with focuses on material science, recycling, and local, national and international policy making, and made new connections across the corporate, academic, non-profit and government spheres dedicated to eliminating plastic pollution from the environment.

Video from all sessions is available on request to scientists, policymakers, potential partners, and anyone working on the issue of plastic pollution. Watch a summary video of the workshop’s speakers and topics:

Or email pesmpp@mit.edu to request videos of the following sessions:

Introduction and Plenary Address

Featuring Juliet Kabera, Director General of Environment and Climate Change, Rwandan Ministry of Environment; with an introduction from MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative Director John Fernández

Day 1 Panel Sessions

Panel 1: "Policy Making"

Panel 2: "Policy Advocacy"

Panel 3: "New Materials"

Panel 4: "Recycling and Disposal"

Day 2 Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: "Local and State Policymaking"

Breakout 2: "National Policymaking"

Breakout 3: "International Agreements"

Breakout 4: "New Materials Science"

Breakout 5: "Recycling, Reuse, Disposal, and Plastic Substitutes"

Open-Mic Recap and New Initiatives

Keynote Address

A virtual fireside chat on the theme of "U.S. Environmental Action at the Federal and State Levels," featuring U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.


You can also explore the workshop brochure below, or open it in a new browser tab here:

To inquire about this event, email pesmpp@mit.edu

This workshop was part of the ESI Plastics and the Environment Program. Learn more about the program, its agenda and activities.

SGD 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionSDG 14: Life Below WaterSDG 17: Partnership for the Goals