Paper or plastic? This seemingly mundane question captures of one of our biggest sustainability challenges: although paper is renewable and biodegradable, for many uses non-degradable plastic still wins out due to its resilience and versatility. Now, thanks to a new grant from the European Research Council, Professor Emma Master is searching for ways to get the best of both worlds.
This week, Master was awarded €1.98 million ($2.8 million CAD) for a project known as BHIVE: Bio-derived High Value polymers through novel Enzyme function. Involving collaborators at Aalto University in Finland, the project aims to search for natural enzymes that could transform plant material — including forestry or agricultural waste — into a greener alternatives to non-degradable plastics. Read full story.