Richard McKinlay, Head of Consulting, Axion , Conference chairman

Richard is the Head of Consulting at Axion, the circular economy specialists. Richard has worked in waste and recycling since graduating from The University of Manchester with a masters degree in Chemical Engineering. Richard manages collection schemes for PVC flooring and medical devices, and is also the Recovinyl Regional Representative for the UK. Richard works extensively in plastics packaging recycling, carrying out R&D and Due Diligence projects. Supply chain collaboration is a key focus for Richard and Axion.

Peter Maddox, Director, WRAP

Peter Maddox is Director of WRAP UK. He has been with WRAP for 12 years, initially working on developing markets in the UK for recycled materials and working closely with Defra on environmental policy. He led the development of WRAP’s Resource Revolution 2015-20 business plan and established the Resource London partnership with the London Waste and Recycling Board. He became Director in 2016 and is currently responsible for WRAP’s work on food waste, plastics, clothing and resource management in the UK. Before WRAP, he spent nearly 20 years working for BP in the chemicals sector in UK and France in research, manufacturing and strategy roles. He has a BA and DPhil in chemistry from the University of Oxford. He is a member of Green Alliance. Outside work, Peter enjoys cycling, reading, walking and real ale.

Richard Kirkman, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Veolia

An environmental engineer, Richard is responsible for Veolia's Technology and Innovation, Material Sales, Combined Heat and Power, Fleet and External Affairs. He is a member of the UK Plastics Pact, Council for Sustainable Business and leads the UK research and innovation activity. An avid promoter of progressive resource management, Richard is driven to ensure this generation protects the interests of the next. In his role, Richard supports Veolia's growth ambitions overseeing the planning and construction of new infrastructure to which the company is committed to a significant investment over the next five years and the administration of commodities, such as energy (electricity and heat) and materials (recyclables and compost). His technology team is focused on thermal development, fuel and energy, MRF and food grade recycling, biological treatments and ‘best in class’ sector innovation. Major initiatives include pioneering treatment facilities at Dagenham (plastics remanufacturing), Rainham (plastics sorting and St Helens (glass cullet supply).

Kinza Sutton, Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability, Europe, Plastipak

Representing Plastipak (the UK’s largest PET bottle producer and user of food-grade rPET) & Clean Tech (Plastipak’s PET reprocessor), Kinza has a unique insight both up and down the PET plastic packaging value chain in to the issues from collection of post-consumer PET feedstock for recycling right through to the challenges of securing the required quality and quantity of food-grade recycled PET (rPET) to satisfy the exploding market demand. Kinza is an active participant in various industry groups tackling packaging issues including the UK Plastics Pact and is the north Wales Chair of the CBI.

Mike Baxter, External Affairs Director, RPC bpi group

MIKE BAXTER – EXTERNAL AFFAIRS DIRECTOR. BERRY-BPI GROUP. Berry - BPI Group are the largest manufacturer and recycler of waste polythene films in Europe with a manufacturing and recycling capacity in excess of 400,000 tonnes p.a. Mike Joined BPI in 1988 and has held senior roles within various BPI businesses including polythene extrusion, converting and recycling. Currently Mike is responsible for all External Affairs representing Berry BPI at UK and European Government levels plus trade associations including Plastics Recyclers Europe, and the British Plastics Federation Recycling Group. He is also a Director of Berry - BPI Recycled Products. Mike was appointed in 2016 onto the UK Government Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) representing the UK plastics processing and recycling sector. He is a Board Member/Trustee of the UK charity Recycling of Used Plastics Limited (RECOUP), a member of the BPF Plastics & Packaging Management Committee, President of the European plastics trade body EuPF and a Director of PCEP – Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (Europe).

Sue Jay, Sector specialist, WRAP

Susan has worked for WRAP since 2008 and is currently Sector Specialist Circular Economy, supporting infrastructure development for plastics recycling across the UK. She recently co-authored ‘Towards a Route Map for Plastic Recycling: Creating Circularity for Plastics in Wales’ providing recommendations to address some of the challenges faced in Wales. Susan has many years’ experience working with the resource management sector and resource efficiency in manufacturing. She has lectured on environmental management, air and water pollution, and has an MBA, Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainability, Planning & Environmental Policy, and a BSc in Environmental Science 1st class (Hons).

Keith Freegard, Keith Freegard Consulting

Keith Freegard has been in the plastics recycling industry for the past 20 years and before that worked in industries where plastics were a primary input material. His practical knowledge of the technology employed for the commercial recovery of high value polymer products from various end-of-life product flows is helping to shape legislation in this fast-moving market. From 2002 until mid-2018, Keith managed the development Axion’s unique End-of-Life vehicle recycling business in Manchester with a focus on sales and marketing of high-quality plastics, aggregates and alternative fuels made from recovered ELV & WEEE waste streams. He has over 30 years of operational management experience gained in a variety of manufacturing environments, ranging from Factory Manager for Domestos liquid bleach with Unilever, to a start-up business for a novel biodegradable packaging product. As a Chartered Chemical Engineer and MBA, Keith believes in applying the best possible process-plant technology to extract maximum yield and value from mixed material waste streams. Keith currently operates an independent consulting business in the plastics recycling sector called KFC Ltd (Keith Freegard Consulting) . He is Vice Chairman of the British Plastic Federation’s Recycling Group and a non-Executive Director of OPRL – the UK’s on-pack recycling label scheme for consumer packaging. He also acts as an Expert Plastics Advisor to the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC).

Hugh Unwin, Co-Head Bioenergy Division, Greencoat Capital LLP

Hugh is Co-Head of the Bioenergy Division at Greencoat Capital LLP where he is responsible for the management of bioenergy assets. Hugh has over 24 years’ experience in the infrastructure sector and joined Greencoat from the Foresight Group, where he spent four years leading the management of their portfolio of bioenergy investments, which included a number of plastics recycling facilities. Prior to Foresight, Hugh spent seven years developing large-scale biomass projects in the UK and South East Asia, leading on all commercial aspects. Hugh is a Chartered Engineer, has an MA in Engineering from Cambridge University and an MBA from INSEAD.

Adrian Hawkes, Policy director, Valpak

Adrian Hawkes is Director of Policy at the compliance scheme Valpak, where he is responsible for all aspects of Valpak’s policy development and liaison with relevant enforcement agencies and Governments. He has been involved in producer responsibility for over 20 years, regularly participates in expert working groups on the subject, and is a member of the UK Government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging.

Nick Cliffe, Head of Advanced Materials, Innovate UK

Nick is Deputy Director for the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. SSPP will support research and innovation towards a circular economy for plastics in the UK. Before joining Innovate UK he worked for Closed Loop Recycling, a plastic recycling business based in London, where he managed various projects, including a project to create the first commercial plastic bottle made from recovered marine plastic waste. At the spin-off consultancy business, Closed Loop Environmental Solutions, he managed projects such as launching a range of on-site food composting machines in the UK and a large waste auditing program for Heathrow Airport and various airlines to develop recycling options for both terminal and cabin waste.

Adrian Haworth, Market Strategy Consultant, Recycling Technologies

Adrian Haworth (BSc, C.Eng, MEI) is currently the Market Strategy Consultant to Recycling Technologies and was Sales and Marketing Director from 2014-2019. His focus is the introduction of RT’s new technology to recycle residual waste plastic into hydrocarbon based commodities. Prior to that he spent 33 years with GE Energy globally in roles including; Engineering, Operations, Sales and Regional Management concluding as the Field Marketing Director, Europe. His experience covers technology evaluation and development including CCGT, Gasification, Distributed CHP, Smart Grids, Solar, Wind, Storage and Transport systems.

Cloé Ragot, Head of Policy and Sustainability, Plastic Energy

Cloé is leading the work on EU as well as national regulations associated to chemical recycling, plastic recycling, and circular economy. She is also heavily involved with the communication side of the business and in developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders. Prior to Plastic Energy, Cloé was a researcher in European political analysis for Eurasia Group specialising in European politics. Cloé holds an MPhil degree in European politics from the University of Oxford and a BA in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jo Padwick, Business Transformation Manager, Lucozade Ribena Suntory

As Business Transformation Manager at Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Jo’s remit is to mitigate the environmental impact of the manufacturer’s soft drinks packaging. Jo’s current focus is LRS’s bottle portfolio, implementing a plan to work towards 100% sustainable bottles by 2030 by promoting circularity. Action underway includes redesigning bottles to promote bottle-to-bottle recycling, updating all pack labelling and, more widely, leading LRS’s parent company’s European rPET strategy. With marketing experience gained working on national brands such as McVitie’s, Wrigley’s and Ribena, Jo’s work arrives at practical solutions through consumer insight and in-depth industry research.