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Green Plastics Manufacturing Conference Set for Mid-April

Eco-Friendly Production Highlighted

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When the plastics industry first met the green movement, it wasn’t love at first sight. Today, however, the industry is embracing new ways of doing business.

Environmentally sound approaches to the plastics industry will be highlighted at a one-and-a-half-day “Sustainable Materials Conference: Green Plastics Manufacturing” conference in Wannalancit on April 17 and 18, sponsored by UMass Lowell and the Plastics Institute of America.  Industry leaders from around the world will present the latest breakthrough advances in green plastics manufacturing ߝ from “Processing Natural Plastic for Optimum Performance” to “The Promise of Bioplastics in Reaching for Zero Waste.” 

Three half-day sessions will be offered: “Bio-Polymer Synthesis & Design, chaired by Prof. John Warner, Center for Green Chemistry; “Processing & Manufacturing,” chaired by Prof. Stephen McCarthy of Plastics Engineering; and “Environmental Footprint,” chaired by Prof. Ken Geiser, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. Speakers and presenters are from industry leaders, including Outlast Technologies, Sappi Saiccor, Metabolix, Leistritz, Coperion Corp., Healthy Building Network, Institute for Trade and Agricultural Policy, and the Institute for Local Self Reliance, among others.

By sponsoring the conference, the Plastics Institute of America, together with UMass Lowell’s Department of Plastics Engineering and Division of Continuing Studies, Corporate and Distance Education, hopes to facilitate the transformation to a new green plastics manufacturing model ߝ spurring companies to transition away from their current petroleum-based plastics manufacturing operations.

“The movement away from petroleum-based plastics is not only more environmentally friendly, but with the high price of petroleum in today’s market, it now offers companies a viable alternative to petroleum-based manufacturing. Companies can no longer afford not to consider these new manufacturing processes and materials,” according to Prof. Robert Malloy, chair of the Department of Plastics Engineering.

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