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Home > The Future of Non-Input Synthetics, Recycling and Plastic-Alternatives in Organic Speakers

The Future of Non-Input Synthetics, Recycling and Plastic-Alternatives in Organic Speakers


Amber Sciligo, PhD | Director of Science Program at The Organic Center (discussion leader)

Dr. Amber Sciligo is the director of science programs at The Organic Center where she directs projects associated with communicating and conducting research related to organic agriculture. During her tenure at The Organic Center, Dr. Sciligo has worked closely with researchers, industry, farmers, and policymakers to identify organic research needs, and she has collaborated on a diverse range of research programs.

Dr. Sciligo heads The Organic Center’s grant writing program and FFAR funding partnership which offers organic research funding and prizes for outstanding organic extension efforts. She also leads the center’s signature conference event, Organic Confluences, which brings together policy makers, researchers, farmers, industry members, and other non-profits to address and overcome challenges faced by the organic sector. Dr. Sciligo brings the organic voice to communities at international, national, and local levels by serving on boards and advisory committees for ISOFAR, FFAR and the Organic Association of Kentucky, the state in which she resides.


Jazmine Mejia-Muñoz | Water Quality Program Coordinator  at California Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Jazmine Mejia-Muñoz is the Water Quality Coordinator at the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation in detail for NOAA’S Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). There she implements innovative solutions to critical issues affecting the interface of land and marine resources, through stakeholder engagement and education. As part of her interdisciplinary approach, she leads efforts to reduce land to sea marine debris sources. Ms. Mejia-Muñoz leads collaborative efforts to find end-of-life solutions for agricultural field plastics. She works with agricultural stakeholders, including local growers, researchers, and grower shipper associations to explore ag plastic alternatives and innovative solutions. Together, the team is researching Soil-Biodegradable-Mulch as an alternative to non-degradable mulch used vastly in agriculture fields within the MBNMS watersheds. Ms. Mejia-Munoz is also working on identifying and communicating ways to increase the recycling rate of drip irrigation tape and Polyethylene mulch used in agricultural fields across California’s Central Coast. 



Rhodes Yepsen | Executive Director of the BPI

Rhodes Yepsen is Executive Director of the BPI, a non-profit advocating for the value of certified compostable packaging in diverting organic waste to composting.  Yepsen's expertise is on the circular economy and systems-based solutions, specifically the synergy in solving for food waste and packaging at the same time – to address climate change, ecosystem impacts, and regenerative agriculture.  He has served on the Board of the US Composting Council, is on the Advisory Council for the US Plastics Pact, and was an editor and writer at BioCycle magazine.  




Cynthia Minet | Professor at Moorpark College 

Award-winning environmental artist Cynthia Minet received her MFA from San Francisco State University and her BA from UC Santa Barbara. Currently a Studio Art professor at Moorpark College, she has also taught in Rome, Italy and in Guadalajara, Mexico. Minet is most known for her illuminated sculptures of life-size animals. Made from recycled plastics, these animals lay bare the inescapable consequences of petrochemical use, with a particular focus on climate change, habitat loss, and species extinction. Exhibited in the USA and internationally, Minet's recent solo shows include Panthera Atrox at the Craft Contemporary Museum in Los Angeles, CA; Migrations at the IMAS in McAllen, Texas; and Beast of Burden at the USC Fisher Museum in Los Angeles, CA. Her piece Unsustainable Creatures: Elephant, originally commissioned in 2013 by the LA Department of Cultural Affairs, was recently selected for the 2023-26 Pasadena Arts and Culture Rotating Public Art Program. Minet's work is held in public and private collections and has been featured on the Discovery Channel, the Los Angeles Times, and Wired Magazine, among others.


Mitch Ratcliffe | CEO and Publisher of Earth 911

Mitch Ratcliffe is a seasoned business, marketing, and sustainability communications leader with over 35 years of experience in digital media, technology marketing, and publishing. As the publisher of, he is an influencer in global recycling and sustainability conversations. Mitch has lent his expertise in sustainability messaging strategies to Samsung Electronics America, Ball Corp, and other major brands. He has also launched numerous digital businesses, including the early online news and conferencing company ON24, a social analytics company, BuzzLogic, and the Gig Economy Group, a machine learning-enabled sales enablement platform. He has been an advisor and consultant for various companies, including and, the largest recycling services database in the US, remains at the forefront of his mission to promote sustainable living. 



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