To eliminate waste, we need to discover thrift

There’s no such thing as throwing something away, says Andrew Dent — when you toss a used food container, broken toy or old pair of socks into the trash, those things inevitably end up in ever-growing landfills. But we can get smarter about the way we make, and remake, our products.


Dent shares exciting examples of thrift — the idea of using and reusing what you need so you don’t have to purchase anything new — as well as advances in material science, like electronics made of nanocellulose and enzymes that can help make plastic infinitely recyclable.

Andrew Dent is a leading expert on sustainable materials, Andrew Dent has played an important part in creating a new generation of more sustainable products.

Why you should listen


Dr. Andrew Dent plays a key role in the expansion of Material ConneXion’s technical knowledge base. His research directs the implementation of consulting projects and the selection of innovative, sustainable and advanced materials to Material ConneXion’s library. As the Executive Vice President of Research at Material ConneXion and Chief Material Scientist at SANDOW, Dent has helped hundreds of clients — from Whirlpool and Adidas to BMW and Procter & Gamble — develop or improve their products through the use of innovative materials.

Prior to joining Material ConneXion, Dent held a number of research positions both in industry and academia. At Rolls Royce PLC, he specialized in turbine blades for the present generation of jet engines. He has completed postdoctoral research at Cambridge University and at the Center for Thermal Spray Research, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY. Other research projects during this period, included work for the US Navy, DARPA, NASA and the British Ministry of Defense. He received his PhD in materials science from the University of Cambridge.

Dent is a frequent speaker on sustainable and innovative material strategies, having given talks at TEDxGrandRapids and TEDNYC, and he is the co-author of the Material Innovation book series, which includes Packaging DesignProduct Design and Architecture. Dent has also contributed to numerous publications on the subject of material science including Fast CompanyThe Economist and the Financial Times.


This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

Hopefully this talk has inspired you

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