American Chemistry Council highlights upcoming speakers at its Innovation & Circularity Summit taking place in Orlando on June 28-29; talks include brand owner perspectives on how emerging recycling technologies are supporting sustainability goals

Sample article from our Sustainability & Social Responsibility

June 14, 2023 (press release) –

WASHINGTON, DC (June 14, 2023) — Leaders from companies investing in circularity are attending the Innovation & Circularity Summit, hosted by the American Chemistry Council, June 28-29 in Orlando. Attendees will hear from speakers in industries reaching Americans at many different touchpoints – from restaurants to fashion, grocery to finance, automotive to healthcare.

The Innovation & Circularity Summit is shaping up to be an engaging, comprehensive look at plastics circularity, said Joshua Baca, ACC’s vice president of plastics. By gathering influential voices from different sectors, we aim to spark dynamic discussions, forge new partnerships, and accelerate the adoption of circular practices.


Keynote: Liliana Esposito, Chief Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Officer at Wendy’s – As part of Wendy’s Good Done Right corporate responsibility goals, the company has a near-term commitment to sustainably source 100% of its customer-facing packaging in North America by 2026 and is bringing circular innovations to market.

People Want More Recycled Plastic! The Brandowner Perspective – Learn how emerging recycling technologies are helping brands achieve their sustainability and recycled content goals. In this session, we’ll hear from leading brands about their ambition, the choices they face, what they look for in potential partners, and how they're designing for circularity.

  • Drew Felz, LEGO
  • Erik Groner, The Kraft Heinz Company
  • Mike Roxas, Ahold Delhaize USA
  • Barnaby Wallace, Mars
  • Adriana Wolff, McCain Foods
  • Moderator: John Avolio, NOVA Chemicals

Certifying Plastics 101: Who, What, and How – Understanding how certification works is key to developing credibility and trust throughout the value chain. Panelists will discuss certification systems, requirements, and implementation, as well as demonstrate how certification offers auditability in supply chains and helps companies achieve their sustainability goals.

  • Dr. Jan Henke, International Sustainability and Carbon Certification & Meo Carbon Solutions
  • Diane Marret, Berry Global, Inc.
  • Matt Rudolf, SCS Global Services
  • Moderator: Ron Cotterman, SEE/Sealed Air

Powering a Circular Economy: An Investor Roundtable – There’s money at play helping advance and scale new recycling technologies. Don’t leave that financing on the table!

  • Ed Gillespie, Abundia Global Impact Group
  • Will Thorburn, Cox Enterprises
  • Moderator: Bridget Croke, Closed Loop Partners

Policy: What Do We Need to Accelerate Circularity? – Join us for a conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, foreign affairs officer at the U.S. Department of State, who leads multilateral science policy strategy and engagement, focused on building a plastic circular economy.

Healthcare, Auto, and Textiles: Circularity Beyond Packaging – Plastics are helping make lives safer, healthier, easier – and more stylish! – well beyond packaging. Hear circularity leaders describing and debating. Learn what’s next in innovative ways to remake plastics into solutions for key economic sectors that help shape American’s lives.

  • Tina Burry, General Motors
  • Peylina Chu, Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council
  • Teresa Krug, Circ
  • Dr. Debbie Mielewski, Auto Sustainability Expert, ret. Ford Motor Company
  • Moderator: Blythe Chorn, KPMG

Sorting Everything Out: Feedstocks, Collection & Sortation – Finding higher volumes and high-value feedstocks is essential for circularity to succeed. Economics, scalable technologies, and innovative partnerships are overcoming challenges and unlocking new opportunities.

  • Bill Cooper, Cyclyx
  • Dr. Ganesh Nagarajan, Waste Management
  • Jeremy Wallach, McKinsey & Co.
  • Mark Wilfalk, City of Houston, Solid Waste Management Department
  • Moderator: Palmer Giddings, LyondellBasell

What Does the Average Consumer Think About Circularity? – The polls are in, and we’ll hear the latest proprietary data from renowned political pollsters. You’ll learn about the challenges and opportunities ahead and what Americans really think.

  • Cornell Belcher, Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies
  • Brenda Gianiny, Axis Research
  • Moderator: Susan Jackson, BASF

The Science Behind Circularity – A circular economy for plastics is possible and science shows advanced recycling can help achieve this goal and support the fight against waste and climate change. Our expert panel, will discuss how life cycle studies are showing positive environmental outcomes with these new advancements and the policy choices that can accelerate adoption.

  • Dr. Rachel Meidl, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University and MSCI Inc.
  • Dr. Michael Wang, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Moderator: Melanie Bower, ExxonMobil

To learn more and to register, visit the Summit’s website.

American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division

The American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division represents America’s Plastic MakersSM and the half million+ scientists, engineers, technicians, and other innovators who make plastics for many essential and lifesaving products that are vital to modern life. America’s Plastic Makers continue to embrace change. We’re linking innovation with sustainability, deploying next generation technologies to make plastics lighter, stronger, more efficient and more recyclable, so we can meet our goal for 100% of U.S. plastic packaging to be reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040. We’re making sustainable change to help build a cleaner, safer, more sustainable future for generations to come. 

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.


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