Skip to content

Plastic-free legacy and solutions to ocean plastics

Event organised by ICE

15 May 2024
13:00 - 14:00 BST

This event has now ended


We produce an estimated 300M tonnes of plastic each year, with more than 12M tonnes ending up in our oceans. The total mass of plastic polluting our oceans could be as high as 100M tonnes, and this is expected to rise tenfold by 2025. This is having a devastating effect on wildlife, with an estimated 1M sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals dying each year as a result. By 2050 it is forecast that there will be more plastic in the global oceans than fish.

Rowan Byrne, senior associate marine and freshwater aquatic ecology plastics sustainability specialist and marine plastics project lead at Mott MacDonald, will focus this webinar on four key ways we can drive down plastic waste and provide examples from his experience in the field of plastics removal and analysis in marine harbours.

Rowan will share global experience and insights gained for his most recent published paper ‘Coastal Marine Plastic Pollution: long term baseline study and monitoring at Howth Co. Dublin, Ireland’.


Rowan Byrne

Rowan Byrne

Mott MacDonald

marine plastic projects lead

Read more

Rowan Byrne

Rowan Byrne is an Irish marine and freshwater biologist and technical expert and a marine sustainability plastics specialist with Mott MacDonald. A successful marine biologist and Fellow of the Royal society of Biology with over 30 years’ proven environmental experience in marine conservation species and habitats, climate change mitigation and adaptation and sustainability strategies.

As a keen innovator himself, Rowan’s focus is very much on legacy and how we can – and should – all work with a wide range of stakeholders and industry partners/governments to integrate environmental and social considerations into all our activities. Rowan continues to publish papers on solutions to plastic pollution in our waterways and leads on several plastic capture projects across the UK in marine and freshwater riverine and wastewater treatment works environments.

Rowan is constantly collaborating on research projects with key UK & global stakeholders to identify and mitigate plastics in the environment. His work won him the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) Sustainability Leader of the Year Award in 2020 and his management of the installation of two Seabins at Howth Harbour in Dublin in 2019 has received multiple media accolades.

In his spare time, he enjoys drumming, restoring classic cars and antiques and has worked with Johnny Depp on Pirates of the Caribbean in 2006 on both Pirates 2 and 3. Early next year one of Rowan’s photographs, of a Leatherback Sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) hatchling, will be immortalised on a US Postage stamp in support of this endangered species.

For more information please contact:

Tom Compton

Sustainable Development Goals: