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Center for Plastic Recycling Research and Innovation coming to University at Buffalo

Posted at 11:09 AM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 11:09:02-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A new Center for Plastic Recycling Research and Innovation is coming to the University at Buffalo.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced Wednesday $4.5 million is being awarded to UB for the center that will support work to reduce waste and improve recycling.

“The reduction of plastics and other waste is critical to creating a cleaner environment and achieving the goals of the New York’s ambitious Climate Act. This State-funded investment will empower one of New York’s premier research universities, with their team of faculty and students, to advance creative solutions to bolster the State’s world-recognized authority in plastics recycling research and innovation."
- Commissioner Seggos

The DEC said the center will expand upon an existing state-funded academic partnership with UB.

“The University at Buffalo is committed to addressing regional as well as global environmental challenges through multidisciplinary scholarship and innovation. By working with partners such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, we will advance the science and technology of plastics recycling while increasing our impact in promoting a healthier and more equitable environment in New York State and beyond.”
- Kemper Lewis, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

A multidisciplinary team will conduct the center’s work and focus on several tasks:

  • Mapping the reverse supply for plastics in New York State and deep dive into the structure of the collection, disposal, and recycling industries;
  • Improving the efficiency of businesses involved in collecting and processing plastics in New York State;
  • Plastics in natural environments, including microplastics;
  • Plastics in New York State agriculture/food and medical industries;
  • Further understanding contemporary attitudes toward current recycling behaviors; and
  • Advanced high-speed plastic sorting by molecular contract infrared imaging; and
  • Fund several academic- and community-based projects.