Plastic Pollution Working Group Members

Amy Pickle

Amy Pickle

Director, State Policy Program
Duke Law School, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Email 

Amy Pickle, J.D. and Dr. John Virdin are interested in studying how governments have or can design effective public policy responses to the problem, including:

  • Empirical analysis of public policy responses in different contexts
  • Global monitoring and tracking of public policy responses and evidence for their effects
  • Translating public policy responses into projected reductions in mismanaged plastic waste

Additionally, they are interested in the role that large corporations can play in governance of plastics use, including:

  • Empirical analysis of large corporate responses to the plastic pollution problem and evidence for effects
  • How large corporations are organizing to address the problem
Faculty photo of Professor Daniel Rittschof

Daniel Rittschof

Norman L. Christensen Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences
Marine Science & Conservation Division, Nicholas School of the Environment
Email 

Dr. Rittschof’s research is focused on the toxicology and physiological impacts on marine animals of molecules leaching from plastics, the flavors of plastics that cause plastics to be consumed, the impacts of consumption on animals eating plastic and the role of plastics as platforms for delivery of biologically active molecules to animals and for removal of biologically active molecules from animals. The lab’s goal is to inform policy and manufacturing processes.

Daniel Vermeer

Daniel Vermeer

Executive Director, Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment
Fuqua School of Business
Email 

Dr. Vermeer is interested in potential for new technologies and business models that can profitably address wicked problems like plastic pollution. In the last year, one project team worked with WWF and Impact Hub to facilitate entrepreneurs developing plastic alternatives to connect with large industrial customers who could help scale successful innovations. He also works on seaweed production as a method for promoting carbon sequestration and local coastal community development. Finally, Dr. Vermeer is interested in ocean-related “bluetech hubs” and the role they play in accelerating new innovative ocean solutions to market.

John Virdin

John Virdin

Director, Ocean and Coastal Policy Program
Email 

Amy Pickle, J.D. and Dr. John Virdin are interested in studying how governments have or can design effective public policy responses to the problem, including:

  • Empirical analysis of public policy responses in different contexts
  • Global monitoring and tracking of public policy responses and evidence for their effects
  • Translating public policy responses into projected reductions in mismanaged plastic waste

Additionally, they are interested in the role that large corporations can play in governance of plastics use, including:

  • Empirical analysis of large corporate responses to the plastic pollution problem and evidence for effects
  • How large corporations are organizing to address the problem