IPP&T Magazine Online

Wood/plastic composite development gets a boost

August 30, 2019  

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Ottawa today announced an investment of $800,000 for the University of Waterloo for the development of thin structured wood plastic composites for use in construction, automotive and packing applications.

This investment will use recycled plastics, reduce burdens on landfills and reduce the cost of production, while providing new market opportunities for Canada’s forest sector.

“In a world where the dynamic challenges of the plastic industry associated with severe environmental pollution, resource scarcity or depletion concerns and the health and safety risk of some plastics and additives are testing the earth’s limits and our standards for human well-being, it is crucial that government supports research and development efforts in a way that provides sustainable solutions and local resource utilization and avoids health and safety, and pollution concerns,” says Tizazu Mekonnen, associate professor, chemical engineering, University of Waterloo. “We are very grateful to the Government of Canada for the support of our research through the Clean Growth Program.”

Converting forestry waste materials into wood-plastic composites can reduce the use of carbon and other rubber components in production, which will provide both energy and cost savings.

The Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program invests in clean technology research and developmental projects in Canada’s energy, mining and forest sectors. The Clean Growth Program also aims to reduce greenhouse gas and air-polluting emissions, while minimizing landscape disturbances and improving waste management practices.