Young UKELA The Basics: Plastic Waste

Join us for the next in our popular series of 'The Basics' which aims to explain the fundamentals of environmental law to those in the early(ish) years of practice, in an inclusive format that encourages the presentations to give way to friendly Q&A, debate and networking.

Please join us for a Young UKELA event on the highly topical theme of plastic waste. In recent years interest in this area has grown greatly. Images of fragile marine species enmeshed in single-use plastics have caused public outcry, galvanising law and policy makers to do more. Join us for a Young UKELA event where we look at the myriad of law and policy in this area, as well as considering how businesses are responding.

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We have three fantastic speakers lined up to share their insights:

  • Julie Vaughan, Senior Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills who will speak on 'Plastics: a developing legal framework'.  Julie's talk will cover: The EU plastics strategy and single use plastics directive, the UK response: Waste strategy and the Environmental Bill, the 'B' word – plastics and trade after Brexit, UN initiatives – what would a plastics treaty look like?
  • Debbie Hitchen, Director at Anthesis who will speak on 'Delivering on plastic waste goals and obligations'.  Debbie's talk will reveal the voluntary and policy frameworks that are driving plastic change management, and exploring some of the good practices in implementation and reporting.
  • Laure Cucuron, General Manager, TerraCycle who will speak on 'Eliminating the idea of waste: solving the problem of disposability while maintaining its virtues'.  Laurie's talk will cover: Waste is a concept foreign to the natural world, but the nature which surrounds us is full of waste! According to the Ellen Mc Arthur foundation, in 2050 there will be more plastic waste in the oceans than fish. Moreover, currently only 9% of the global production of plastic is recycled.  We all know that it is necessary to invest in infrastructure and services that will increase recycling rates and facilitate the integration of recycled content in products and packaging. This is essential to have any chance of solving the waste crisis, which we currently face. Terracycle is an innovative waste management company that does not believe in waste and that has helped leading consumer product companies, retailers and cities to recycle products and packaging – from crisps bags to ocean plastics – that would otherwise end up in landfill or be incinerated. This session will reveal more about how TerraCycle has achieved this, as well provide information on a new platform called Loop.  Loop is an engine that enables these companies to shift from a disposable linear supply chain to a circular one.

Read more about our speakers below.

Chaired by UKELA Trustee & Vice Chair, Simone Davidson.  Simone is a solicitor and head of environment at LexisPSL.

This event is kindly hosted by Francis Taylor Building, Inner Temple, London.  Registration is from 5.30pm, with the seminar starting at 6pm.  Drinks, nibbles and networking follow from 7.30pm.

The aim of Young UKELA is to provide a forum for more junior practitioners, up to about seven years post-qualification, with an interest in environmental law or anyone new to environmental law. We provide training and education, a space for debate and opportunities for professional development and networking, as well as social events. All are welcome at our popular seminars and social events. Our activities aim to complement the range of seminars and groups active within UKELA as a whole.

Speaker Biographies

Julie Vaughan is a Senior Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills in London, listed by legal directory Chambers UK 2020 as a Star Associate and by Legal 500 as Rising Star. Her work is mainly transactional - dealing with corporate acquisitions and reorganisations, large projects in a variety of sectors including real estate remediation and development, the offshore oil and gas industry, the water industry, environmental consenting for new nuclear build, power project development and finance. But she also gets involved with high profile international class actions – such as the 2018 Supreme Court decision involving Vedanta Resources. She has also been at the forefront of the legal issues surrounding development of onshore shale gas exploration acting for Cuadrilla Resources. Before becoming an environmental lawyer with HSF in 2006 Julie qualified at Allen & Overy (in insolvency), did finance and corporate work at Latham & Watkins (amongst other things!) and then took a Masters in International and European environmental law at UCL.

Debbie Hitchen leads the Anthesis UK Circular Economy Centre of Excellence. She has an extensive understanding of the drivers and challenges of sustainable materials management having worked for four years in a local authority, four years at a leading producer responsibility compliance organisation and over 15 years in consultancy.  Debbie has managed projects in manufacturing, retail, waste management and the public sector, delivering waste prevention activities, increasing reuse, improving waste collections and operations, driving behaviour change and initiating product stewardship (ERP+) programs. Since 2017 Debbie has been supporting businesses, NGOs and policy makers to address the single use plastic agenda for sustainability. She has overseen baseline development, benchmarking and goal setting exercises, strategy and action plan creation and materials substitution options assessments and R&D projects in the packaging and materials supply chains as well as specific support to the waste and reprocessing sectors to support circular economy.

Laure Cucuron is the General Manager of TerraCycle Europe, a global leader in the collection and re-purposing of otherwise non-recyclable post-consumer and post-industrial waste. In 21 countries, TerraCycle creates national platforms to recycle products and packaging that currently go to landfill or incineration, in collaboration with the world’s largest brands and retailers (e.g. Tesco, Carrefour). Prior to joining TerraCycle, Laure worked in the cosmetics industry at Yves Rocher and retail agency Saguez & Partners in Paris. Laure strongly believes in people’s empowerment through local environmental, educational and social action and in the power of businesses to make a positive change in the world.


12/5/2019 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Francis Taylor Building Francis Taylor Building Inner Temple LONDON, EC4Y 7BY UNITED KINGDOM

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