Sylvie Verinder is the Director of two innovative organisations tackling our toxic relationship with plastic: Nurdle and Filosophy Solutions.
Her approach is slightly different to those wanting to heal the world from the damage caused by ocean-bound materials. As she writes on LinkedIn, “Plastic is a resource efficient, low cost, durable material which is essential as a component of innovative products and technologies. We cannot live without it.
“We must however change how we use and manage it.”
Recognising that there is an “urgent” need to address the pollution crisis, she continues: “The job of awareness raising is done, the time now is for supporting values, attitudes and behaviour change so we arrive at a place where plastics are valued and problematic and unnecessary plastic use is eliminated.”
Nurdle is focused on tackling the plague of microplastics. The company has developed two pieces of technology: the Big Machine, which aims to “clear the microplastic accumulation zones,” and a hand-operated trommel, which is designed to help communities remove microplastics from beaches while learning about how to make changes to their own behaviours.
Over time, the idea is to return beaches to their state before microplastics began to accumulate, to then study reaccumulation and understand more about the nature, source, rate and quantity of microplastic accumulation over time across the world. “Those whose livelihood is derived from tourism and damaged by increasing microplastic accumulation can improve their local environment and protect their livelihood using our machine,” she writes.
Her other company, Filosophy, is a plastic solutions consultancy, which she writes works with various stakeholders to develop a “sustainable future with plastics.” She’s quick to highlight that in many industries, such as healthcare, single-use plastic is essential for good hygiene. “Some waste is unavoidable in saving lives. For longer term use design out waste wherever possible and use plastics which can stay in the loop. If not possible as a last resort use it to create energy.”
Before this she was Director of Education for Plastic Oceans Foundation UK, where she helped develop a six-year strategy to support the legacy of documentary A Plastic Ocean. This aimed to equip educators with training and evidence-based knowledge and skills; deliver education engagements to develop ocean literacy; and work with businesses to support awareness-raising. She also worked as Head of Engagement for the Earth Trust.Tags: Climate crisis, Microplastics, plastic pollution, United Kingdom