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Feds fund University of Waterloo wood-plastic composites development


September 3, 2019
By Maria Church
Maria Church

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The federal government is helping fund the University of Waterloo’s development of thin structured wood-plastic composites.

Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program is providing $800,000 to the Ontario university to advance the project, which aims to convert forestry waste materials into bio-products for use in construction, automotive and packing applications.

Bardish Chagger, leader of the government in the House of Commons and MP for Waterloo, made the funding announcement Friday on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. The government’s Clean Growth Program invests in clean technology research and developmental projects in Canada’s energy, mining and forest sectors.

“By making significant investments in Canada’s forest sector and working with innovative institutions like the University of Waterloo, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new opportunities for Canadian businesses. I am proud to announce this investment that will help position Canada as a world leader in the development of sustainable bio-products,” Chagger said in a news release.

Tizazu Mekonnen, associate professor of chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo, said they are grateful for the federal support.

“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,” he said in the release.


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