Plastic has gone from the greatest invention of the modern era to one of the most challenging materials to manage.


  • Abhaya Sumanasena
  • Dr Eugene Mohareb
  • Prof. Richard Murphy
  • Dr. Clair Potter
  • Prof. Richard Bailey
  • Dr. Agi Brandt-Talbot
  • Dr Eugene Mohareb


7:00pm - Introduction - Abhaya Sumanasena
7:05pm - Set the scene – Dr Eugene Mohareb
7:10pm - Prof. Richard Murphy
7:22pm - Dr. Clair Potter
7:34pm - Prof. Richard Bailey
7:46pm - Dr. Agi Brandt-Talbot
7:58pm - Summary Dr Eugene Mohareb
8:00pm - Q&A – all panellists
9:00pm - Close


Plastic has gone from the greatest invention of the modern era to one of the most challenging materials to manage. Plastic waste is a growing issue that we face everywhere around the world. Even though it is undeniable that plastic provides various benefits to our society, it is not enough to say that we overuse it without thinking about the consequences.

The unfortunate truth is that recycling plastic is extremely inefficient – only 9% of plastic ever produced has been recycled, and around 60% of plastic is discarded in landfills and oceans. Reducing the use of inappropriate plastic is essential because it prevents pollution and reduces the demand for fossil fuel consumption while saving natural resources and energy. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which are contributing to climate change.

The UK government has so far introduced a plastic packaging tax on any packaging that contains less than 30% recycled plastic, a ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and measures to restrict the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. The UK Government is also working towards a “target” of eliminating avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

The aim of this year’s Great Debate is to update the audience on these issues and provide a forum of those attending to ask questions to experts.

Our events are for adults aged 16 years and over.

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This event is brought to you by: BCS Berkshire branch

Hybrid: Great Debate 2023 – Life without Plastics
Date and time
Wednesday 15 March, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Henley Business School
University of Reading
Whiteknights Campus