A major funding boost to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology will now allow the school to expand its plastic waste reduction research team.

In an announcement Tuesday, Inter Pipeline Ltd. said that it would be committing $10 million in a 10-year agreement with the school for a Plastics Research in Action partnership.

“Today in Canada, nearly 80 per cent of all post-consumer plastics end up in landfills,” Christian Bayle, president and CEO of Inter Pipeline, said in a news release Tuesday.

NAIT research and innovation consultant Debbie Pietrusik, who is also serving as the interim project manager, said that the school was chosen for the project because of its 10-year history in applied research and industry partnerships. She says the team will aim to find new opportunities in the province to extend plastic’s lifetime with new uses.

“It’s taking those post-consumer products, plastic products that are going to the landfills… and repurposing them or converting them to another type of product that we can use again,” Pietrusik said.

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