Plastic waste researcher wins prestigious award

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

In recognition of her work creating more degradable and recyclable plastics, Dr. Elisabeth Prince has been awarded the John C. Polanyi Prize.

The award is presented by the Council of Ontario Universities to an individual or team whose research has led to outstanding advances in the field of natural sciences or engineering.

As director of the Prince Polymer lab in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Prince aims to make thermostats, plastics and rubbers - a class of non-recyclable plastics - amenable to traditional recycling processes. Prince’s research group is making minor tweaks to the formulation of thermostats and rubbers to make these materials easily recyclable within the existing infrastructure.

This disruptive research in advanced materials has the potential to have a huge impact on sustainability and environmental remediation, as was acknowledged by the awarding committee.

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