Keynote Announced as the Rethinking Materials Speaking Faculty Explores Routes to Ending Plastic Pollution

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: The Rt. Hon. Jo Churchill MP, Resources and Waste Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will give the opening keynote address at the first in-person Rethinking Materials Summit on May 4-5.

Welcoming the summit audience with opening remarks, Jo Churchill will set the scene for two days of collaborative discussion and networking to accelerate technologies in novel materials, sustainable packaging and waste valorisation, with the aim of tackling plastic pollution.

Sharing a taste of what is to come at the summit, Senior Conference Producer Ellen McLeay has quizzed business leaders in a series of short interviews, gaining insights from:

Plastic pollution is an urgent challenge of our time and the Rethinking Materials summit brings together CPG brands, retailers, plastics producers and converters, regulators, innovators and investors to build partnerships and actionable strategies for scaling bio-based and circular solutions in plastics & packaging.

Registration is available to join the summit in person or virtually at

About Jo Churchill MP
The Rt. Hon. Jo Churchill was the first female politician to be elected as a Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds in 2015, re-elected again in 2017 and for a third time in 2019 with the biggest majority in constituency history. In Parliament, Jo has sat on both the Women and Equalities and Environmental Audit select committees. She also sat on several including Rural Services and Pig and poultry APPGs and founded the personalised medicine APPG. In 2016 Jo became a PPS and in 2018 was appointed an Assistant Government Whip in HM Government. In 2019, Jo was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, helping to lead the government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. In September 2021 Jo was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with a focus on innovation in agriculture, net zero, climate adaptation and Environmental Quality (including Resources and Waste).

About Michael Carus
Michael is one of the leading European experts, market researchers and policy advisers of the renewable carbon economy – including bio-based, CO2-based and recycling. At the end of 1994, he and five other scientists founded the private and independent nova-Institute for Ecology and Innovation. Ever since the beginning, Michael has been involved in the company as owner and one of two Managing Directors. Today nova-Institute has 45 scientists from a wide range of disciplines, covering markets, technologies, sustainability, communication and policy. In the year 2020, Michael founded the Renewable Carbon Initiative.

About Maisie Devine
Maisie Devine is the executive director of Sustainable Innovation & 100+ Accelerator at Anheuser-Busch InBev. Before her role in sustainability, Devine was a technology investor in their corporate venture capital group, ZX Ventures. Earlier in her career, she co-founded a recruitment app and she was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Top 20 Startup Founders Under 30 list, & 26 Women to Watch. Devine also worked in digital media advertising and received her BA from Princeton University.

About Adam Read
Adam has been at the forefront of the waste & resources sector for over 25 years as an academic, consultant, municipal recycling officer and more recently in the private sector. For the last 3 years, he has been leading SUEZ’s engagement with UK and devolved Governments on the extensive policy reform facing the sector, including Extended Producer Responsibility, Deposit Return Schemes, Consistent Recycling Collection and the Recycled Content Tax. He has prepared consultation responses, submitted evidence to a range of committees and regularly meets civil servants to discuss planned policy and regulatory changes. He is actively supporting the ESA in developing a resource sector deal with BEIS, is active on an industry-wide net zero plan and continues to support a large number of brands and packaging designers as they look to better understand the policy landscape and assess the opportunities to better design packaging so that less of it leaks from the system and more of it is recycled and reused. He is currently the Senior Vice President of the CIWM, taking on the Presidency in June 2021, when his theme will be the skills transition needed to deliver decarbonisation and a circular economy.

About Rich Altice
Rich is the Chief Executive Officer and President of NatureWorks, an advanced materials company using plants to turn greenhouse gases like CO2 into the biopolymer called Ingeo. Previously, Rich was Senior Vice President and President of Designed Structures and Solutions at PolyOne Corporation and held the Vice President role of Hexion’s global specialty epoxy business focused on coatings and composites. He has an engineering background with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

About Ho Ren Hua
Ren is currently the CEO of Thai Wah Public Company and is responsible for developing the company’s long-term vision as a leading starch and consumer foods company in Southeast Asia. Since its founding in 1947, Thai Wah has been a leading pioneer in the starch and food industry now expanding its footprint to Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and China. The company currently has over 12 operations across 4 countries. In 2017, in recognition of Thai Wah Group’s sustainability and community efforts across the region, Ren was awarded the “Outstanding Leader in Asia” award at the 4th Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability Awards and was selected in 2018 to be a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

About Rethinking Materials
The Rethinking Materials summit presents new opportunities for partnerships and investment in the changing landscape of plastics, bio-based alternatives, and circular solutions.

With an emphasis on packaging and performance materials, this year’s event provides pivotal insights into the challenges facing C Suite and Director-level stakeholders in tackling plastic waste both upstream and downstream; the viability of new technologies and ‘next generation’ materials; routes to scaling up; and cross-sector applications in packaging, food & beverage, personal care, pharmaceuticals and more.

For more information visit

Source: Rethink Events (UK, April 07, 2022)