Alexandra Harrington

Alexandra is a Lecturer in Environment Law at Lancaster University Law School. She serves as Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Task Force on Plastic Pollution. Her role requires her to lead a global team of legal academics and practitioners in providing guidance to countries, regions and civil society for the process of negotiating the Plastics Treaty.

Alexandra teaches in the fields of international and national environmental law, public international law, and international human rights law. She is also a specialist in climate law and sustainable development law. She supervises post-graduate student dissertations on related subjects and is the author of several monographs as well as more than 50 articles and book chapters. More on Alexandra’s work can be found here. Link to vodcast here.

Crispin Halsall 

Crispin is a Professor of Environmental Organic Chemistry at Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) and has research interests spanning the long-range environmental transport of persistent chemicals and the formation and fate of microplastics. Crispin’s research feeds into the Arctic Monitoring Assessment Programme, investigating chemicals of emerging Arctic concern and the effects of climate change on pollutant behaviour in the Arctic Ocean. More on Crispin’s work can be found here. Link to vodcast here.

John Xavier Chweya

John is interested in empowering waste pickers through a storytelling approach, sharing their voices through photovoice (photography and videography). He is trained in participatory video and communications under a program of the University of Victoria (Canada) and assists in documenting the research project Recycling Networks, and Mapping Waste Governance, field activities in Kisumu.

John is a waste picker based in Kisumu, Kenya. He started waste picking at the age of 13. Through his work as a waste picker, he noticed all the inequalities and injustices that affect the waste pickers in his community despite the integral role that they play in providing livelihoods and improving the environmental conditions in their cities. At the age of 18, he started organizing waste pickers to defend and protect their interests and rights. In 2021, he got elected as the president of the National Association of Waste Pickers in Kenya.

John is currently enrolled at Maseno University, doing his BA in Communication and Media under a scholarship program. He is a member of the International Alliance of Waste Pickers. For more details, click here. Link to vodcast here.

Lauren Munro-Bennett

Lauren studied Philosophy and Psychology (BA) at Durham University and found a particular interest in Environmental Ethics. Lauren currently works as an Engagement Officer for the charity Morecambe Bay Partnership. Her previous role as Beach Care Officer focused on reducing single use pollution found across the Bay. This involved working closely with community groups and individuals leading their own beach clean and litter picks, as well as delivering workshops at schools and youth groups – providing tangible actions, like beach cleans, for young people to get involved in.

Lauren also developed a resource for outdoor events around Morecambe Bay, Cumbria, and Lancashire to reduce their environmental impact, with a focus on reducing waste. You can find the resource here. Lauren also volunteers for Trash Free Trails, a CIC with a mission to reconnect people with nature through removing single-use pollution.

Morecambe Bay Partnership is a place-based charity connecting people with the nature, heritage, and culture of Morecambe Bay and exists to keep Morecambe Bay special. More information about Morecambe Bay Partnership and how you can get involved can be found here. Link to vodcast here.

Michael Rendon

Michael is interested in the sociopolitical relationships between humans and the natural world, specifically regarding extractive industries, material consumption, and resource recovery. His academic work focuses on waste policy and the global informal recycling sector.

Michael is a former mayor of Durango, CO, where he promoted sustainability, affordable housing, and practiced the art of listening. He is also very proud to have been the first male director of the Sexual Assault Services Organization (SASO), the rape crisis center in Durango. As both a graduate of Fort Lewis College and the previous coordinator of the Fort Lewis College Environmental Center, Michael is excited to be back on campus!

Patrick O’Hare

Patrick is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow (FLF) and senior researcher in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. His research interests centre on recycling economies in Latin America and include the themes of labour, waste, recycling, infrastructure, and plastics. He has conducted research in Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, and the UK. He is the author of ‘Rubbish Belongs to the Poor: Hygienic Enclosure and the Waste Commons’ (Pluto Press, 2022), co-author of ‘Taking Form, Making Worlds: Cartonera Publishing in Latin America’ (Texas University Press, 2022), and co-editor of ‘Circular Economies in an Unequal World: Waste, Renewal, and the Effects of Global Circularity’ (Bloomsbury, forthcoming)