U of G Biomaterials Researcher to Appear Before Commons Committee on Single-Use Plastics

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Dr. Manju Misra

Dr. Manju Misra, a professor in the the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering who researches sustainable biocomposite materials, will appear before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

The federal government recently announced its intention to legislate a ban on single-use plastic items and designate plastics under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

The Commons committee is studying the potential effects of such a ban on Canadian small business and the plastics production industry, including the impacts on jobs, human health and the environment.

Misra, who is the co-principal of U of G’s Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, will speak on behalf of U of G and discuss alternatives to single-use plastics as well as the infrastructure needed to manage compostable plastic waste.

Misra plans to highlight key packaging material segments that are currently not recyclable but for which compostable alternatives could be used. She will also highlight how industry-academia collaboration can help create better compostable and recyclable packaging materials.

Misra holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Biocomposites and is cross-appointed to the Department of Plant Agriculture. She researches ways to develop next-generation materials from sustainable resources, such as recycled plastics, plants and farm and food wastes. She is also a research program director of the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance.

By creating innovative bio-based materials, she aims to reduce plastics in landfills, rivers and oceans, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Her research aims to achieve a circular economy that eliminates waste and encourages resource reuse.

Watch Dr. Misra’s appearance beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.