June 17, 2022
On Friday, June 17, 2022, I met with Professor George Huber, the Harvey Spangler Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Huber is leading the new multi-university plastic recycling research center. In addition, Dr. Brandon Fetterly at UW Platteville with a PHD in Organic Chemistry joined us in our conversations and tour. Our primary focus was to get a better understanding of the research being done at the University of Wisconsin on plastic recycling. The U.S. Department of Energy is funding a new $10 million Multi-University Center on Chemical up cycling of Waste Plastics (CUWP) under the direction of Professor Huber. As we are aware, 9 percent of the plastic waste around world has been recycled. Twelve percent has been incinerated but 79% is still lingering in landfills or breaking down into micro plastics in the oceans. Unfortunately, even recycled plastics are often down cycled into less valuable products that eventually end up in the dump.
The Green Bay Innovation Group has moved forward to have UW Platteville explore the potential of incineration of plastics with doing research on the viability of it and its impact on the environment. The Green Bay Innovation Group would like to bring together the Universities and Businesses to better understand the impact of plastics to try to come up with better realistic solutions to the problem. We ALL recognize that Wisconsin leads the Nation in the 5P and Converting Industries in the packaging industries. Wisconsin has the industries plus our world class educational institutions to come up with solutions to address and overcome the plastic problems facing us worldwide!
On October 25, 2022, George Huber will be introducing CUWP as a forward-looking resource group that is developing executable sustainability solutions based on sound science. We will meet at Amor 2301 Industrial Dr. in Neenah, WI starting at 2:00 pm. Kevin Nelson Director of Material Science will host and lead the event.
On November 16, 2022, GBIG will have a tour of Placon’s Recycling Center in Madison followed by networking starting at 10 am to 12:00 pm and a lunch off premise.