35 million plastic bottles are sold in the UK each day. Around half are recycled, with the balance ending up in landfill or in our Ocean. The number of plastic bottles washed up on UK beaches increased 43% in 2015, and you may have seen predictions that we’ll have more plastic in our Oceans than fish by 2050.

Does it have to be this way? Perhaps not. There has been a sharp increase in interest in the health of the Oceans from media, business and a remarkable new generation of Ocean entrepreneurs. On March 6th we asked if Ocean plastics is the next big environmental issue for business, and mapped out the solutions.

After a keynote from ocean scientist Dr Heather Koldewey on the scale of the problem, we turned to the solutions. We heard from Fiona Ball on why Sky has launched its Ocean Rescue campaign, Tom Domen on how Ecover is making bottles from ocean plastics, and Selfridges’ Daniella Vega on how consumers will give up plastic bottles more easily than one might think.

Catherine Cameron moderated a discussion of issues such as;

  • How Ocean plastics rank alongside other environmental problems
  • The consumer actions that business needs to encourage
  • Which system actors need to come together to create change
  • How NGO partnerships can act as an accelerant to change
  • The steps an Ocean intrapreneur should take
  • Which technologies offer breakthrough solutions
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Event for: Directors/ Heads of: Sustainability | CSR | Environment


  • Dr Heather Koldewey

    Head of Marine and Freshwater Conservation, Zoological Society of London
  • Daniella Vega

    Director of Sustainability, Selfridges
  • Fiona Ball

    Head of Responsible Business, Sky
  • Tom Domen

    Long Term Innovation Manager, Ecover/Method

Round Tables

  • Activating Communities
    Beach cleans are a brilliant way to mobilise communities, exposing them to the scale of the plastic problem and setting them on a path to more sustainable behaviour. How can business, local government and charities work together to do more? We’ll share case studies and first-hand experiences to explore how a beach-clean-up movement can catalyse wider anti-litter action and education.
  • An Ocean Strategy
    Most companies are yet to develop a response to the growing global problem of Ocean plastics. We’ll draw on the experience of other environmental strategies and look at how the retail, FMCG and consumer product sectors can: understand the materiality for their business; raise stakeholder awareness; identify risks and opportunities and set an ambition that will drive change.
  • Circular Plastics
    With 14% of global plastic packaging being recycled, and 1/3rd ending up in the Ocean and the natural environment (EMF), leading businesses are starting to move. Unilever has pledged to make all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Which sectors need to be thinking differently about plastics, and what will the next generation of plastic strategies look like?
  • Ocean Action
    What are the critical issues and solutions that consumers and citizens can play a role in to improve Ocean health? From the many complex issues that exist, which ones are the most time critical and what are the positive actions individuals could take that should be prioritised when raising awareness and inspiring behaviour change?
  • Oceans In The House
    Tackling Ocean plastics requires changing household behaviour, particularly in the bathroom. This requires product manufacturers, retailers, marketeers, waste companies, water utilities and campaigners to work together in news ways. Is this form of collaboration as difficult as it sounds? Please join this conversation if you represent one of the key actors in the conversation.
  • Science Based Targets
    A discernible groundswell of companies is turning to science-based targets to tackle environmental problems, mainly climate related. What is different from traditional target setting, and what are the pros and cons of this approach? Could the same principles be applied to other environmental issues? Could this emerge as the standard connecting business to environmental issues?
  • Sustainability V’s Populism
    With the new US President launching an assault on liberal values, including environmentalism, “low sustainability” companies have already started to show a marked outperformance in share prices. How should progressives respond to this? Keep ones head down till the music changes, or seek to energise organisations to stand up for their values?
  • Tackling A Throwaway Culture


  • 17:30
    Arrivals and Networking
  • 18:00
    Welcome: Jim Woods, CEO, The Crowd
  • 18:05
    Keynote Speech: Dr Heather Koldeway, ZSL
  • 18:25
    Catherine Cameron in discussion with Heather Koldewey, Daniella Vega, Fiona Ball, Tom Domen
  • 19:15
    Roundtable discussions (moderated discussions in groups of 10-12)
  • 20:00

Venue Details

The Great Hall, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), One Moorgate Place, London EC2R 6EA

Who's Attending

MD/Founder 375 Creative Limited
Activist A Plastic Planet
Technical Manager ABTA/Travelife
Finance and Sustainability Adnams
Head of Sustainability Anglian Water
Artist Arts Maria Arceo
Green Finance Initiative BEIS
Environmental Manager Bouygues
General Manager Bouygues Energies & Services
Head of UK Press Office Bupa
Sustainability Consultant Capgemini
Commercial Manager – Strategic Partnerships Current, powered by GE
Global Procurement Director PET, Corrugate & Innovation Diageo
Principal Consultant, Sustainability & Innovation DNV GL
Senior Development Manager Earthwatch Institute
Head of European PR Ecover
CEO Edmund Hillary Fellowship
Schmidt MacArthur Fellow Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Director, External Affairs Estee Lauder Companies UK & Ireland
HOD Staging Fisher Productions
Director of Programmes Forum for the Future
Charity Engagement Executive GivingForce
Internal Sustainability Executive Grant Thornton UK LLP
Group Sustainability Manager Grosvenor Group
Sustainability Manager ICAEW
Independent Independent
Consultant Independent consultant
Director J. Tattersfield Ltd.
Project Manager Plan A Food M&S
Senior Packaging Technologist M&S
Assistant Brand Manager Marks & Spencer
Sustainability Manager Marylebone Cricket Club
SRI analyst Morgan Stanley
Principal Marine Environmental Scientist Mott MacDonald
Corporate Press Manager Novozymes
Group Energy Manager Nuffield Health
Senior Manager, Product Design and Innovation PepsiCo
Brand Sustainability and Packaging Design Consultant Root Innovation
Social Performance Adviser Shell
Environment Manager Skanska
Responsible Business Manager Sky
Head of Responsible Business Sky plc
Project Manager/ Circular Economy Lead Sustainable Ventures
Head of Sustainability Thames Tideway Tunnel
CEO The Crowd
Managing Director The Healthy Work Company
Head of Environmental Practices The National Trust
Environment Editor The Times
Head of Global Programmes Thomson Reuters Foundation
Sustainability Marketing and Communications Manager TUI Travel
I&A Manager, Sustainability Unilever
VP Finance Marketing and Sustainability Unilever
Assistant Reporting Manager Unilever
Sustainability & CSR Manager Vacherin
Head of Policy, Strategy and Compliance Verco
Project Manager Carbon Productivity Volans
Head of Business Development and Sustainability Partnerships Volvo Ocean Race