Research Projects


Sustainability and Management of Bioplastic Food Service Products (RFG Project)

Plant based plastics or bioplastics seem like a good alternative to single use plastics. But are they really better for the environment?

Nadia Springle and her research team address the need to research and inform decision-making on more sustainable single-use alternatives to petroleum-based plastics. The research team will offer recommendations surrounding policy, procurement and best practices for the use, management and disposal of bioplastic foodservice ware for SFU Ancillary Services.

Project summary:

  • This project seeks to address the need to research and inform decision-making on more sustainable single-use alternatives to petroleum-based plastics
  • Bioplastics, which encompass a range of products made from renewable plant resources, is one of the available substitutes for plastic foodservice ware and packaging. However, bioplastics present their own complex challenges and limitations including greenwashing, waste stream contamination, and limited and inconsistent options for waste disposal and management.
  • The project will result in recommendations surrounding policy, procurement and best practices for the use, management and disposal of bioplastic foodservice ware for SFU Ancillary Services.

How will this project benefit society?
Plastic waste and single-use items are contributing to significant environmental and social problems here and around the world. Furthermore, for people who are aware of the problem and want to make changes and do the right thing, there is still a lot of misinformation about how to actually do that. As we continue to see more products labelled as green, sustainable, compostable, etc., people should be aware that these alternatives can also have environmental consequences and are often more complicated than they seem.  

Research Team
  • Nadia Springle, MRM, School of Resource and Environmental Management
  • Tammara Soma, Assistant Professor, School of Resource and Environmental Management
  • Dan Travis & Simon Tse, Ancillary Services - SFU Food
Sustainability and Management of Bioplastic Food Service Products is a RFG project.

 

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