Oil and natural gas storage and transportation provider Inter Pipeline and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) have partnered to research plastic recyclability and reusability in Canada.

Inter Pipeline will invest $10m for a ten-year agreement called the Plastics Research in Action (PRIA).

PRIA will leverage NAIT’s expertise in process engineering and automation, as well as environmental sustainability. Student researchers will also participate in the project.

Inter Pipeline president and CEO Christian Bayle said: “I am confident that the researchers at NAIT will find new opportunities to help keep plastics out of our environment and extend their useful life.

“Today in Canada, nearly 80% of all post-consumer plastics end up in landfills. Inter Pipeline believes that innovative thinking is critical to addressing this complex societal issue and is very pleased to do its part through this long-term funding commitment.”

According to the partnership, the two companies will explore opportunities to reuse plastic to support the circular economy.

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A part of the investment will be used to improve sustainable practices at Inter Pipeline’s Heartland Petrochemical Complex.

The polypropylene manufacturing facility at Inter Pipeline’s complex is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emission (GHG) by 65% compared to the global average, and by 35% compared to the North American average.

Inter Pipeline owns and operates energy infrastructure assets in western Canada and Europe. It is a beneficiary of federal investment under the Strategic Innovation Fund.