August 25, 2022 , 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm EDT
Date: Thursday, August 25
Time: 2-3 pm PT, 5-6 pm ET
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Our world is overwhelmed by single-use plastic packaging and products, and it’s having devastating consequences on our climate, communities, and health. But what if all those items weren’t made of toxic, fossil fuel-based plastic? What if they were made from regenerative materials like mushrooms or seaweed?
Join us Thursday, August 25, 2022, as we sit down with three companies providing innovative technologies to replace single-use plastics with renewable, compostable, and eco-friendly alternatives—Ecovative, LOLIWARE, and Sway. Unlike so-called “bio-based plastics,” seaweed and mushroom materials do not require harmful plasticizing chemicals to work, and are truly zero waste and regenerative alternatives. Panelists will include Julia Marsh, Co-Founder and CEO of Sway, Meghan Olson, Director of Mushroom® Packaging at Ecovative, and Dr. Victoria Piunova, Chief Technology Officer at LOLIWARE. The panel will be moderated by Julia Cohen, Managing Director of Plastic Pollution Coalition.
Co-Founder & CEO, Sway
Julia Marsh is the co-founder and CEO of Sway, a venture-backed materials company producing compostable packaging made from seaweed. Julia is a designer with over a decade spent building brand and packaging systems for consumer goods companies, technology startups, and design studios. She founded Sway in 2020, led by the belief that designers must take part in solving the planet’s greatest challenges.
Director of Mushroom® Packaging , Ecovative
As the Director of Ecovative’s Mushroom® Packaging business, Meghan leads Ecovative’s Mushroom® Packaging team and is responsible for commercial activities in North America and supporting the growing global network of MycoComposite™ licensees, with direct oversight over both sales and licensing funnels.
Meghan has a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a dual B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Design, Innovation & Society from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has been a fan of the company for over a decade since first learning about Ecovative’s founders and their story from her late mentor and early Ecovative champion, Burt Swersey. Meghan was thrilled for the opportunity to join the Ecovative team in late 2019 and brings business development experience from local technology company Vyv (formerly Vital Vio). She began her career in a fluid system design role at GE Power, following her M.S. focused on additive manufacturing of composites.
Dr. Victoria Piunova
Chief Technology Officer, LOLIWARE
Dr. Victoria Piunova leads all technological and product platform development from MVP launch to commercialized product at LOLIWARE. Dr. Piunova hails from IBM Research, where she holds the prestigious title of IBM Master Inventor. She brings over 10 years of experience in sustainable materials development for applications in biotechnology and sensing. Victoria has invented 25 issued US patents and authored more than 30 publications in peer reviewed journals. She is also a recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Young Investigator Award. Victoria received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California with Prof. Hogen-Esch and completed her post-doctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology in the group of Nobel Laureate Robert Grubbs. Victoria is passionate about sustainability and sustainable fashion in particular, which is reflected in her collaborations with the Marchesa brand as well as the Fashion institute of Technology.
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Plastic Pollution Coalition
Julia Cohen is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Plastic Pollution Coalition, based in Washington, D.C. Julia has nearly three decades of experience in leading executive, strategic, communications, fundraising, and outreach efforts for a wide range of government, entertainment, and non-profit groups.
She has served in leadership positions with numerous organizations, including Environmental Working Group (EWG), Woman’s National Democratic Club (WNDC), MADE SAFE, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Save The Children’s YouthNoise, Youth Vote Coalition, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), Rock The Vote, and as a Program Officer, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, US State Department.
Julia has spoken at corporate headquarters, political conventions, and international conferences and symposia. She serves on the U.S. Movement Support Team of the Break Free From Plastic movement. She is the recipient of the Leadership Award from Four Generation of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions.
She holds a BA in Modern Society and Social Thought from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.
- Mushroom Packaging
- Fantastic Fungi
- IKEA Commits to Biodegradable Mushroom Packaging (Yahoo Life!)
- UK’s Magical Mushroom Company uses Mycelium to Replace Plastic Packaging
- Effective Alternative to Plastic: This Startup’s Mushroom Mix Breaks Down in 45 Days (India Times)
- Why Seaweed is a Natural Fit for Replacing Certain Plastics (PopSci)
- Seaweed-Based Sway is a Way for Single-Use Plastic to Disappear (Forbes)
- Can Seaweed Help Solve the World’s Plastic Crisis? (CNN)
- From Seaweed to Sugarcane, Companies Race to Find the Next Great Plastic Replacement (PBS)
- Dan Widmaier: The Future of Fashion—Made from Mushrooms (TED Talks)
- BioDesign: The (R)evolution of Sustainable Fashion, Theanne Schiros (TEDxFIT)