Bye Bye Plastic

  • Originally aired 27 January, 12.00

Plastic pollution has dominated headlines due to its widespread, damaging impact on oceans and natural environments.

Although progress has been made, single-use plastic remains a big part of many people's lives. In this event we'll meet a Museum scientist researching the impact of plastic pollution on seabirds, an activist and changemaker who successfully campaigned for a single-use plastic ban on her home island of Bali, and a photographer raising awareness and action through a unique portrayal of plastic debris.

Speaker biographies

Dr Alex Bond is an ecologist and conservation biologist and Senior Curator in Charge of birds at the Museum. He has studied the impacts of marine plastic pollution on seabirds on remote islands like Lord Howe Island for more than a decade.

Melati Wijsen is a 20-year-old Indonesian-Dutch activist and changemaker. At the age of 12, Melati and her sister Isabel founded 'Bye Bye Plastic Bags' and campaigned tirelessly, leading to a ban on plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam on their home island of Bali in 2019. They were named two of the 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018 by Time magazine and Melati was an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020. Melati now leads YOUTHTOPIA, a project empowering young people and providing them with the necessary tools to become young changemakers.

Mandy Barker is a world-renowned photographer whose work has been published in over 40 countries including in National Geographic Magazine, TIME Magazine, The Financial Times, The New Scientist, The British Journal of Photography and Vogue. She is passionate about raising awareness and action to tackle plastic pollution across the globe through unique and powerful imagery.

Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It

This talk is part of a programme of live events where panellists including scientists, farmers, entrepreneurs, fashion designers, journalists, photographers and activists discuss the key challenges we face in building a greener future.