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Meet America’s Change Makers

I want you to meet some people.

They’re the scientists, engineers, designers, technicians, innovators, and others who are leading sustainable change throughout our nation’s plastics industry.  

These dedicated and passionate individuals are finding new ways to make plastics lighter, stronger, more efficient… and more recyclable. To keep plastics in our economy and out of our oceans and rivers. And to create the innovative products we all need to build a more sustainable future.

They bring America’s Plastics Makers’ tagline to life: “making sustainable change.”

We call them America’s Change Makers. And we’re sharing their stories, all of which have a common element: a personal desire to create a better future for loved ones and generations to come.  

America's Change Makers

They’re working to solve some of the world’s toughest sustainability challenges, such as dramatically increasing the types and amounts of plastics that can be recycled and reducing energy use and carbon emissions. By linking innovation with sustainability, America’s Change Makers are changing the way plastics are made, used, and remade.  

Here are two of America’s Change Makers: Natalie and Kait.

Meet Natalie: The Finder
  • Growing up, Natalie had no idea that a career in plastics sustainability was in the cards.

    “My sister and I were the first in our family to go to college.”

    After she graduated from college, Natalie found her way to ExxonMobil, where she started her career as a materials engineer. But as she rose through the ranks, ExxonMobil’s efforts in sustainability piqued her interest. She wanted to be part of the team shaping the future of plastic recycling.

    "I expressed to management that I’d like to be a part of improving sustainable solutions in our industry. Over time, this role opened up as our company started looking at advanced recycling, started seeing that as a valuable solution and started looking for people who could help support this new business.”

    Now Natalie works in advanced recycling at ExxonMobil, where she finds used plastics that can be broken down and made into new products.
America's Change Makers - Natalie
 
Meet Kait: The Environmentalist
  • Growing up on 12 acres near Kent State University in Ohio, Kait’s family practiced diehard conservationism—principles that still drive her today.  “

    "I like the idea of becoming more sustainable. I personally compost and try to find alternative ways of becoming more self-sufficient, more stable on our own.”

    She understands that her generation must take a stand for future generations.

    "If my generation can start changing our frame of reference and start providing more for future generations than taking away from them, I believe that’s a really important stand that a lot of us need to start taking.”

    Kait brings her lifelong passion for sustainability to her role as technical service representative at Covestro, where she works on creating innovative plastics to help customers save energy and become more sustainable.
America's Change Makers - Kait

We’ll be sharing more stories like these. While America’s Change Makers reveals the work of a small number of professionals, they represent the thousands of talented people who make plastics and share a passion for innovation and sustainability.  

In the coming weeks and months, you can see and hear more stories on our social media channels (be sure to follow @plasticmakers) and elsewhere online. Also, be sure to check out America’s Change Makers on our website.

This is a great industry that’s making sustainable change. I hope you’ll share these stories of America’s Change Makers.  

Click here to see and hear America’s Change Makers.

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About the Author

As Vice President of ACC’s Plastics Division, Joshua oversees strategic programs to advance a science-based policy agenda, national outreach, and sustainability initiatives on behalf of America’s leading plastics makers. He encourages better understanding of plastics’ advantages in key markets, such as automotive, building and construction, and packaging, and innovations that are helping to address some of our world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Joshua also leads industry initiatives and fosters multi-stakeholder dialogue around helping to end plastic waste by creating a more circular economy.

He previously led public affairs at the American Beverage Association (ABA), where he oversaw the launch of a new plastics sustainability initiative and helped advance community-based recycling projects.

Prior to joining ABA, Joshua served as a managing director at Marathon Strategies and senior vice president at DDC Public Affairs. In both capacities, Joshua directed strategy and implementation of multi-channel issue advocacy and public affairs campaigns on behalf of Fortune 100 companies and leading trade associations. In 2018, Joshua led the defeat of the Border Adjustment Tax on behalf of the retail industry, which was recognized as PR Week’s 2018 global crisis campaign of the year.

He began his career working on Capitol Hill for former U.S. Representative Heather Wilson and as the National Coalitions Director for U.S. Senator Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Joshua has a Master of Arts in Government and Political Communications from The Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas Tech University.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

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