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6/18/2019 | 2 MINUTE READ

Dow's Landes to Address the Future Role of Plastics with Sustainability at Center Stage

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Also the current president of SPE, Landes will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 SPE Thermoforming Div.’s conference.

A recent announcement from the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) regarding the keynote speaker of its upcoming 27th annual thermoforming conference simply substantiates what appears to be among the lead issues in the plastics industry: sustainability. That is exactly the focus of the planned presentation by keynote speaker Brian Landes, technology leader at Dow and president of SPE 2019-2020. The topic has been also dominant at several other plastics industry conference events within the last few years and will remain as such as the industry tackles the issue of plastic waste through emerging technologies, industry collaborations, and education.

Landes has outlined the theme of his presentation, Forming the Sustainable Future for Plastics and SPE, as follows:

 ▪  The plastics industry has a rich legacy of delivering innovative materials and products that can be scaled, manufactured, and distributed for the benefit of society. These innovations have provided clean water as well as preserved the quality and quantity of food needed to feed billions. They have promoted reliable infrastructure, propelled fuel-efficient transportation and revolutionized medicine. Sadly, however, used plastics have found their way into a place that they were never designed to be—our environment.

 ▪  The conversation has changed. Expectations have changed. We must change. Above all else, the industry is being called to innovate to address global plastics waste. This will require a new wave of innovation and heightened emphasis on sustainability beyond industry boundaries. As plastics professionals, how can we as individuals—and as a Society—be effective influencers and trustworthy collaborators for positive change? Let’s explore how SPE is uniquely positioned to provide a framework to collect, connect and educate the right stakeholders to form a sustainable global community.

Landes earned his BS, MS and PhD in Polymer Science from the Department of Material Science and Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. He joined The Dow Chemical Company upon graduation and has spent his 35-year career developing novel materials and measurement technologies for applications in the electronics, water filtration, automotive, packaging, construction, and energy capture/storage industries. He is currently charged with establishing collaborative partnerships between academia, industry, and U.S. national laboratories.

Landes has been invited to speak on behalf of U.S. industry before the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, Department of Energy, and National Science Foundation. He is a Fellow and an Honored Service Member of SPE and a member of the SPE Executive Board.

Said Steve Zamprelli, 2019 SPE Thermoforming Conference co-chair, “The plastics industry faces greater scrutiny than ever before as a result of manufacturing’s impact on the environment. We’re excited to hear Brian’s thoughts on SPE’s leadership role in a process that will change the conversation and result in the better future that we all seek.”

The SPE Thermoforming Division’s conference is slated for September 9-11, 2019 in Milwaukee, WI, at the Wisconsin Center and the Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel.