F&ES student awarded ‘Scholarship for Sustainability’

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) awarded the 2017 Ice River Springs Master’s Scholarship for Sustainability to James Souder, a master’s of environmental management candidate at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

The EREF scholarship program awards and recognizes excellence in master’s and doctoral solid waste management research and education.

To qualify for the scholarship, students had to be enrolled full-time in a master’s program in Canada or a U.S. academic institution located on the East Coast. The area of research should relate to recycling, with preference given to applicants exploring the recyclability of plastics, plastic bottles, and/or PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic.

Souder specializes in industrial ecology and green design with a deeper focus on innovative solutions to waste management and pollution prevention. His research, titled “Closing the Loop and Increasing Material Recovery in Supply Chains and Production Systems,” seeks to divert recyclables from landfills and decrease consumer confusion regarding recycling information. Souder will embed recycling information on recyclable products using various strategies, such as UPC codes, QR codes, RFID tags, and UV labels, with the intention of syncing these labels to a location-based recycling database. A small-scale automatic sorting machine could be installed on trash and recycling bins to scan items, helping to reduce human error and maximize diversion.

Ice River Springs is an Ontario-based company whose vision is to be the leading innovator in environmental sustainability and provide consumers with healthy beverages and products. It is the only beverage company in North America with a plastics recycling facility and closed-loop production.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve. For more information on EREF funded research and its scholarship program, visit the foundation’s website.