Circular Economy 

 Circular economy ensures waste, such as plastic and industrial residual materials, are kept out of the environment and in the economy. Items that are no longer usable are repurposed, remanufactured or recycled.

 A circular economy offers innovative solutions, environmental benefits, as well as economic growth and cost savings opportunities.

Using waste as a resource requires novel  thinking and methodologies. As a trusted partner in Alberta’s and Canada’s innovation ecosystem, NAIT works with industry to develop solutions that support these goals.

Learn more about the NAIT applied research centres doing work in this area:

Plastics circularity

Almost 80% of all post-consumer plastics in Canada end up in landfills. A plastics circular economy keeps plastics out of the environment and in the economy. The Government of Canada has committed to the goal of zero plastic waste by 2030.

In partnership, NAIT and Inter Pipeline are developing solutions to ensure that waste plastics are reused as a valuable resource in the development of other products, while reducing their environmental impact.

Learn more about our work with the “Plastics Research in Action” initiative.

Industrial waste repurposing

Adding value to by-products and residual materials that are presently handled as waste and landfilled, particularly in the resources sector, is key to enabling the circular economy.  NAIT works with companies to identify, develop and validate new applications for existing markets. 

Learn more about our work and impact:

Cleaning up contaminated land using tools from nature

Researchers transform pulp waste into industrial odour eater

Repurposing agriculture and food waste

Canada is expected to become a dominant global player in the plant protein market, particularly the production and fractionation of plant-based proteins.  

The challenge is that the plant proteins industry generates large amounts of starch by-products that are often landfilled at cost or converted into low-value products. As part of the food circularity, industry is looking to increase their environmental performance while supporting a low carbon economy.

NAIT will be working with industry partners to characterize the starch by-products and develop new processes to transform them into a variety of value-added products, such as biofuels, biochemicals or food ingredients.