"Beyond Plastic" Symposium

Slippery Rock University "Beyond Plastic: Can't Reuse it? Refuse it!" Symposium and Product Expo

Americans' reliance on single-use "disposable" plastic products threatens our health, as well as our environment. While this has been an on-going issue, it is today's students that will have to come up with innovative solutions to the many environmental issues that we, as a society, urgently need to address. This symposium is designed to empower our students to think of themselves as agents of positive change, and to equip them with the knowledge they need to be effective in doing so.

The Beyond Plastic: Can't Reuse it? Refuse it! Symposium and Product Expo. is scheduled for Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 9:30-4:45 on the third floor of the Smith Student Center. It is open to all SRU students, faculty and staff, as well as regional high school students and teachers. The day's events will include the following:

Guest Speakers - We are featuring people who have made great strides in the movement to reduce the use of "disposable" plastic products:

  • Mark Dixon, filmmaker and environmental activist who, along with three friends, traveled across the U.S. for a year with the goal to produce only the amount of trash that could fit in one cereal box. Not only were they successful, but from the experience they produced the documentary YERT- Your Environmental Road Trip.
  • Dr. Brian Bonsteel, President and Founder of Humane Action, has been the force behind launching a "no plastic please" campaign in Pittsburgh.
  • Lisa Ann Hamilton from the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) is dedicated to addressing the environmental, health and social justice issues surrounding plastics through the power of policy and law.

Alternative to Plastics Expo - We are excited to offer an exposition of alternatives to plastic products! In the style of Consumer-Reports, college and high school students will be demonstrating products that make a difference.

DIY Workshops - These workshops are designed to encourage personal steps towards a zero-waste lifestyle by making products that reduce packaging. Students will learn how to make their own environmentally-safe cleaners and personal care products, as well as beeswax wraps.

Films and Documentaries - Throughout the day, a series of films and documentaries, including Bag It, will provide information on the environmental and social justice issues related to plastic.

Art Exhibition - The entrance of the event will feature a multi-story art installation created by SRU art students, as well as the artwork of SRU graduate and environmental artist, Ben Bires.