Plastic waste reduction the target of Inter Pipeline $10 million commitment to NAIT
10-year deal is largest applied research partnership in NAIT's history
The ten-year agreement, known as Plastics Research in Action (PRIA), will be funded by a $10 million commitment from Inter Pipeline, which represents the largest applied research partnership in NAIT's history.
PRIA will draw on NAIT's applied research expertise in the area of process engineering, process automation and environmental sustainability. Student researchers will also be involved.
"Our partnership with industry is fundamental to who we are as a polytechnic. This agreement showcases how NAIT plays a vital role in helping industry to find solutions to the problems they are facing. We are proud of our partnership with Inter Pipeline," said Dr. Glenn Feltham, President and Chief Executive Officer, NAIT.
"I'm confident that the researchers at NAIT will find new opportunities to help keep plastics out of our environment and extend their useful life" said Christian Bayle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Inter Pipeline. "Today in Canada, nearly 80 per cent of all post-consumer plastics end up in landfills. Inter Pipeline believes that innovative thinking is critical to addressing this complex societal issue and is very pleased to do its part through this long-term funding commitment."
Potential research projects include examining opportunities for plastic to be reused, thus retaining the value of the product, and supporting the ideals of a circular economy. Innovations could potentially help Canadians reuse and remanufacture materials, create new economic opportunities and benefit our environment. A portion of the applied research funding will also be dedicated to improving sustainable practices at Inter Pipeline's Heartland Petrochemical Complex.
Heartland Complex is being built to compete in a global marketplace. The polypropylene manufacturing process at Inter Pipeline's complex is estimated to generate 65% less greenhouse gas (GHG) than the global average, and 35% less GHG than the North American average.
Inter Pipeline was a recipient of a federal investment made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments in Canada's most dynamic and innovative sectors. This commitment has allowed Inter Pipeline to invest in the skills of the future by increasing its number of co-op positions for post-secondary students, invest in increased opportunities for women in trades and continue investing in research and development, including efforts to reduce plastic waste.