Louise Hardman

Scientist, innovator and waste-free plastics educator

NSWNomineeLocal Hero2021

28 years ago, leading a marine turtle-tagging and research program, Louise Hardman discovered a small green turtle dying a slow, painful death from eating plastics. Sadly, the turtle didn’t survive – but it inspired Louise to tackle plastic waste.

She founded Plastic Collective, a social enterprise to stop plastics entering the oceans. With the green turtle as part of its logo, Plastic Collective is changing the way people think about plastic.

Louise is an expert in grassroots community engagement, the chemistry of plastics and the circular economy. She invented the Shruder – a mobile recycling machine that shreds and extrudes plastic on site. Using the Shruder and Louise’s Working with Plastics Program, communities are transforming plastic waste into products for local needs and generating revenue through selling processed plastic shred.

Louise regularly speaks at international conferences and events about addressing the global plastic waste epidemic.