Lead Mentor: Ganesh Balasubramanian, Mechanical Engineering

Co-Mentor: Brian Slocum, Director, Design Labs


2023 Students Team: 

Elizabeth Hayes ‘24

Erika Ramirez ‘25

Evan Woodward ‘26

Irem Akylidiz ‘24

Kirsten Sjoberg ‘24

Sophia Lin ‘26


Project Description:

The Philippines consumes over 2 million tons of single-use plastic annually, contributing significantly to global plastic pollution. Shockingly, less than 10% of this plastic waste is recycled due to a lack of proper infrastructure, resulting in environmental degradation and threats to marine life. PlasTech seeks to address these challenges by establishing micro-recycling facilities that collect and process post-consumer plastic waste, specifically multi-layer sachets. Plastech facilities process this plastic into useful products that lock up the plastic while providing local communities with income-generation opportunities. The Plastech team is collaborating with the University of Philippines Diliman to establish a pilot recycling facility on their campus while concurrently characterizing various recycled plastic formulas from a strength and performance perspective. This project involves plastic / polymer characterization, supply chain management, community-engaged social innovation, plastic upcycling techniques, business model development and implementation, and research writing. Students from all majors with an interest in environmental sustainability, waste management, sustainable development, and original technological research are welcome to apply.