Sustainably Speaking


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What does it take to create a sustainable world? You might be surprised, but business leaders and innovators who manufacture modern plastic materials ask themselves these questions all the time. The Sustainably Speaking Podcast, hosted by Joshua Baca, will let you hear directly from all of them through thought-provoking conversations, where they will offer their personal insights, creative solutions, and discuss collaborative efforts to address the world’s biggest challenges, like their vision for our circular future and transition to a low carbon economy.

Episode Date
A New Dimension in Reconstructive Surgery | America’s Plastic Makers®

Dr. Albert Woo, Chief of Pediatric Plastic Surgery and Director of the Lifespan 3D Printing Lab, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University 

Albert S. Woo, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in the treatment of cleft and craniofacial anomalies. This work has led to a particular interest in three dimensional imaging and printing of complex surgical models. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery, Pediatrics and Neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and serves as the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and Director of the Lifespan 3D Printing Laboratory.

Dr. Woo currently is a member of numerous societies including the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including recognition by Best Doctors in America and Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors.

Mia Quinn, Senior Director, Plastics Division at American Chemistry Council

Mia Quinn leads efforts to communicate the plastics industry’s major sustainability initiatives. She works to bring together experts to share insights in key areas of sustainability, including public policy, product design, recycling, and infrastructure.

She is passionate about collaboration, clear communications, and engaging audiences to learn more about and advocate for innovation and modern solutions for our communities and our country.

Mia has a degree in political science from Washington University in St. Louis. She grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado and is a lifelong Denver Broncos fan. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two sons.

Joshua Baca, Vice President, Plastics Division, American Chemistry Council 

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’ importance to areas such as automotive, building and construction, and packaging, and about innovations that are helping to address some of our world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Joshua also leads industry initiatives and fosters dialogue around helping to end plastic waste by creating a more circular economy.

He previously led public affairs at a large organization, where he  oversaw the launch of a new plastics sustainability initiative and helped advance community-based recycling projects.

He began his career working on Capitol Hill. Joshua has an MA in Government and Political Communications from The Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Political Science from Texas Tech University. 


May 23, 2022
Gen Z: The Future of Sustainability| America’s Plastic Makers®

On this latest episode of Sustainably Speaking, we discuss the emerging generation of thinkers and doers, Generation Z, a group notoriously passionate about building a bright and sustainable future for humanity and the Earth. 

Host Mia Quinn and Gen-Z co-host Carly Zaccaria, sustainability coordinator at the American Chemistry Council talk with noted leader in sustainability Gulay Serhatkulu, senior vice president of performance materials for the North American division of BASF Corporation and mother of an 18-year-old future engineer. 

Tune in to hear this discussion on how Gen-Z’s heightened environmental awareness and demand for positive change is driving a societal and corporate shift toward a more purpose-driven, sustainable culture. 

On This Episode:

Gulay Serhatkulu, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Performance Materials North America, BASF Corporation 

Gulay Serhatkulu is Senior Vice President responsible for the Performance Materials business for BASF Corporation in North America. This business encompasses the entire materials know-how of BASF regarding innovative, customized plastics under one roof and is globally active in four major industry sectors – transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods.

Gulay joined BASF in 2006 as a technical service representative.  She has held a variety of roles with increasing responsibility within BASF including product management, marketing, sales, strategy and most recently procurement.  Prior to BASF, she earned two postdoctoral appointments at the University of Nottingham, UK and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan respectively.

Gulay earned and/or did her studies for a PhD, MSc, and a BSc degree from the University of Akron, OH and Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey in the fields of polymer science and engineering, and chemical engineering. Gulay was born in Istanbul, Turkey. She is married and has one son.         

Mia Quin, Senior Director, Plastics Outreach & Public Affairs at American Chemistry Council

Mia Quinn leads efforts to communicate the plastics industry’s major sustainability initiatives. She works to bring together experts to share insights in key areas of sustainability, including public policy, product design, recycling, and infrastructure. 

She is passionate about collaboration, clear communications, and engaging audiences to learn more about and advocate for innovation and modern solutions for our communities and our country.  

Mia has a degree in political science from Washington University in St. Louis. She grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado and is a lifelong Denver Broncos fan. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two sons.

Carly Zaccaria, Sustainability Coordinator at the American Chemistry Council

Carly Zaccaria recently joined ACC as a sustainability coordinator for the Plastics Division. A Pittsburgh native, she has spent the last 6 years in North Carolina where she received her B.S.B.A in International Business from Elon University and her M.S. in Management from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business. Carly found her passion for sustainability when she interned at the Environmental Defense Fund on the Energy Efficiency Team. Carly looks forward to having a long and fulfilling career ahead of her in sustainability. 




Apr 25, 2022
Episode 11: Coming Full Circle on Sustainability in the Plastics Industry | America’s Plastic Makers®

On this final episode of Sustainably Speaking Season 1, we dive into the complex and crucial role of sustainability related to plastic, building upon conversations we have had over the last several months. As our nation seeks to modernize U.S. infrastructure, expand sustainable technologies, and find ways to prevent waste, plastic industry leaders continue to elevate sustainability in their business models to create a better world today and for future generations.

Host Joshua Baca highlights the best of our conversations from Season 1 as our guests share perspectives on the often-overlooked role of plastics in building a more sustainable world. With topics ranging from reducing greenhouse gases to creating financially viable, long-term solutions, this sustainability-centered discussion — largely shaped by our guests’ varied areas of expertise — is not one to miss.

Oct 22, 2021
Episode 10: A Policy Vision for Ending Waste | America’s Plastic Makers®

On this latest episode of Sustainably Speaking, we dive into the importance of national legislation for creating a circular economy in the U.S. to prevent waste from entering the environment. From modernizing our infrastructure and enabling next generation automobiles, plastics play a critical part in a lower carbon future. But given that plastics’ national recycling rate is low, how can we move the United States toward a more sustainable, circular economy? 


Host Joshua Baca is joined by Chris Jahn, president and CEO of ACC, and Laura Chamorro, general manager of polyethylene at Shell Polymers, to discuss an innovative, new legislative proposal aimed at improving sustainability efforts and our ability to prevent and recycle waste at scale.

Oct 08, 2021
Episode 9: Preventing Food Waste | America’s Plastic Makers®

On this latest episode of Sustainably Speaking, we discuss critical issues related to community health and sustainability — food waste and food insecurity. Every day, millions of Americans lack access to fresh, nutritious food, yet each year 30 to 40 percent of food is wasted on average. One of the major contributors? Insufficient or improper food packaging. However, support from local food banks and advancements in sustainable plastic packaging can help delay spoilage across the production cycle, bringing fresh meats, produce, and dairy products to underserved communities.


Host Joshua Baca is joined by John Kreger, Chief Operating Officer at the Montgomery County (TX) Food Bank, to discuss the role sustainable plastic packaging plays in extending shelf life and preventing food loss.


Sep 24, 2021
Episode 8: Investing in a Circular Economy | America’s Plastic Makers®

In this episode of Sustainably Speaking, we discuss how companies are ramping up their efforts to reduce plastic waste by investing in and innovating for a circular economy. How is this happening? Companies and funds are accelerating investment in recycling infrastructure and innovative technologies (like advanced recycling), with the goal of increasing the amount of plastic that can be recycled into new products and materials, again and again. 

Host Joshua Baca is joined by Julie Zaniewski, North America Sustainability Director for Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics, and Bridget Croke, Managing Director of Closed Loop Partners, to discuss private sector efforts to achieve more sustainable practices and the role of a circular economy in sustainability.

Sep 10, 2021
Episode 7: Advanced Recycling: Combining Science and Sustainability | America’s Plastic Makers®

On the last episode of Sustainably Speaking, we discussed how advanced recycling helps communities find new uses and value in used plastics while keeping plastic waste out of the environment. How does this process work? Advanced recycling companies rely on scientists to help inform their technologies, processes, data and analysis... all necessary to creating a circular economy for plastics. 


On this episode of Sustainably Speaking, Joshua Baca is joined by Dr. Rachel Meidl of Rice University’s Baker Institute and Dr. Marco Castaldi of City College of New York to dive into the science behind advanced recycling, how it differs from traditional recycling, what it means for the lifecycle of plastic materials and the role it plays in circularity.   

Aug 27, 2021
Episode 6: Innovating for the Environment | America’s Plastic Makers®

Many plastics can be recycled through familiar methods – throw it in the bin at the curb and it gets ground up and reformed into something new. But what about other plastics that can’t go in the bin, like flower pots, CD cases, and chip pouches?

On this episode of Sustainably Speaking, Joshua Baca talks with GreenMantra Chief Commercial Officer Domenic Di Mondo and Cyclyx Senior Vice President Bill Cooper about advanced recycling – emerging technologies that are converting hard-to-recycle plastics into new products, keeping more waste out of the environment and creating jobs right here in our communities.

Aug 13, 2021
Episode 5: Doing More with Less: Circularity and Energy Efficiency | America’s Plastic Makers®

Did you know that your empty yogurt cup or takeout container may have a second life as a suitcase or playground slide? As our society evolves toward treating waste as a valuable resource, used plastics are making a growing contribution to sustainability. Companies and brands are increasingly giving waste another life, harnessing the power of innovation to make new products using recycled plastics, including foam insulation for more energy-efficient buildings. Not only does use of this insulating material help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it also can help save money on our utility bills.

On this episode of Sustainably Speaking, Joshua Baca, host and American Chemistry Council’s vice president of plastics, speaks with Huntsman CEO Peter Huntsman about how manufacturers like Huntsman are leading the charge on advancing circularity and contributing to a more resilient and sustainable infrastructure.

Jul 30, 2021
Episode 4: Our Lower-Carbon Future | America’s Plastic Makers®

Lowering carbon emissions and supporting company pledges to improve sustainability are a big challenges, and we’ll need cutting-edge, 21st century infrastructure and supporting technologies to achieve these ambitious targets. Fortunately, the world has seen a rapid increase in the development of these technologies over the last decade. While you may not realize it, some important forms of renewable infrastructure, such as solar panels and wind turbines, depend on plastic to produce sustainable energy more efficiently.


On this episode of Sustainably Speaking, host Joshua Baca, American Chemistry Council’s vice president, plastics, speaks with Christine Bryant, Covestro’s senior vice president of polyurethanes, about how manufacturers are  innovating and collaborating across industries to invest in the materials needed to modernize our infrastructure while lowering our carbon footprint.

Jul 16, 2021
Episode 3: Creating a Circular Economy | America’s Plastic Makers®

Circularity and sustainability go hand in hand. As America’s Plastic Makers® continue to work towards a circular economy for plastics, a major focus will be on innovating to achieve carbon reductions and recycling and remanufacturing used plastic so it doesn’t end up in landfills and oceans. One  of America’s Plastic Makers, Eastman Chemical, is  developing high performing products that can be recycled again and again – keeping more plastic out of the environment and lowering their carbon footprint by up to 30%.  


On this episode of Sustainably Speaking, host Joshua Baca speaks with Eastman Chemical CEO Mark Costa to discuss  innovative plastics technology. Joshua and Mark dive into how Eastman’s materials help promote circularity in fashion, food and beverage packaging, and automotive, as well as how we can move forward innovative  strategies like advanced recycling.


Jul 02, 2021
Episode 2: The Road to Electric Vehicles| America’s Plastic Makers®

Each year, we've seen automakers add more electric vehicles to their lineup as they transform cars into high tech and low impact mobility masterpieces. But did you know plastic is already playing a major role in this transition? Durable, lightweight plastic materials are enabling our shift to a low carbon future by helping to increase fuel efficiency and enabling the production of electric vehicle components.

On this episode of Sustainably Speaking, host Joshua Baca speaks with Dr. Debra Mielewski, Technical Fellow of Sustainability at Ford, and Paul Snyder, Chairman of the Transportation Design Department at the College for Creative Studies, about what sustainability means in the auto industry and how plastic producers and automakers are working together to design the vehicles of the future.

Jun 18, 2021
Episode 1: The Road to Circularity | America’s Plastic Makers®

What is sustainability, what is circularity, and how do they impact your daily life?

On this episode of Sustainably Speaking, host Joshua Baca of America’s Plastic Makers®, NOVA Chemicals Director of Sustainability Sarah Marshall, and McKinsey Partner Jeremy Wallach discuss the importance of reducing plastic waste by creating and maintaining a circular economy for plastics. Listen in as they dive into what it means to create a system where no plastic materials are wasted and how America’s Plastic Makers are making it possible through our Circular Economy Goals and Roadmap to Reuse.

Jun 04, 2021

What does it take to create a sustainable world?  On Sustainably Speaking, host Joshua Baca, ACC plastics division vice president, speaks to leaders working to create sustainable solutions across every industry touched by the plastics market. They share personal insights and creative solutions to our world’s biggest challenges, and their vision for our collective future.

May 19, 2021