Finding new life for plastic waste

Dr. Mohammad Arjmand and his interdisciplinary research team are exploring solutions to the world’s obsession with plastics

This article was originally published on UBC Okanagan News.

From bottles and straws, toys and tupperware to medical stents, eyewear and even tea bags, plastic is everywhere in our society. Although the meteoric rise of plastic was the result of its economy and ease of production, the question now is, what do we do with the estimated 380 million tonnes of plastic waste produced globally each year?

This wicked problem was something UBC Okanagan’s Dr. Mohammad Arjmand knew he could help solve thanks to the varied expertise and state-of-the-art plastic processing equipment available at the university.“I’ve been working in plastic engineering for almost 15 years, and was mostly using virgin plastic in my research,” explained the School of Engineering Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Advanced Materials and Polymer Engineering. “But then I thought, what if I could do the same research with recycled plastic?”

In Canada, 79 per cent of plastics are dumped in landfills or natural settings, which creates huge social and environmental problems.

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