Durham College teams up with Beyond Covers Inc. for college's newest research project

Research will focus on usable product made from plastic bags

March 16, 2011

Oshawa, Ont. – Durham College’s Office of Research Services and Innovation today announced a new research agreement with Beyond Covers Inc., a company based in Ajax, Ont. that has developed a unique process to reuse and recycle various types of light film plastic (e.g. polyethylene plastic shopping bags) to create a raw material called Ply-me. Ply-me is then used in the production of functional materials and products for consumer and commercial usage.

Currently Ply-me is used to produce a variety of products for both residential and commercial use including barbeque covers, patio furniture covers, shower curtains, dog beds, shingles and recycling bins. Under the umbrella of the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII), the agreement will see the college and Beyond Covers Inc. work together to conduct destructive and non-destructive testing on Ply-me’s colouring, durability, life cycle and ultraviolet protection.

“Durham College is very pleased to build on its previous research success and announce this partnership with Beyond Covers Inc.,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, director, Office of Research Services and Innovation. “In addition to clearly demonstrating Durham College’s commitment to developing and building products and initiatives for a sustainable, green community, this applied research project will give our students an opportunity to relate what they learn in their studies to a real-world application.”

Maureen Calhoun, a professor with the School of Science & Engineering Technology and program co-ordinator for the college’s Chemical Engineering Technology program, will lead the project with assistance from five Chemical Engineering Technology students.

The agreement and the results of the testing being administered by the college and Beyond Covers Inc. will enable the company to have a significant impact on waste management across Canada by providing an alternative to the recycling of plastic bags and other similar products.

“The value of Beyond Covers Inc.’s relationship with Durham College is unique,” said Jane Dempsey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Beyond Covers Inc. “It enables us to combine real-time business practices with leading edge technology while positively mixing academic curriculum with years of business wisdom. We are receiving state-of-the-art business assistance, information, guidance, engineering and testing for our product lines.”

Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, CONII is a consortium of more than 20 Ontario colleges dedicated to helping business and industry stay competitive in the global economy. In addition to providing support to businesses it also offers financial support to colleges, enabling them to provide quicker access to the expertise of Ontario’s top researchers and the most state-of-the-art equipment and research tools available.

About Durham College
At Durham College, the student experience comes first. In September 2010, the college welcomed more than 30,000 students to campus including more than 7,400 full-time post-secondary students as well as part-time, Second Career and continuing education students; apprentices; and online learners. The college offers a wide range of market-driven programs in a number of different disciplines including business, information technology, energy, media, art, design, general arts and sciences, skilled trades, justice, emergency services and health care, enabling them to develop the skills required to meet the demands of today’s job market.

A three-phase expansion of the college’s Whitby campus is currently underway. Phase 1 opened in September 2009 and Phase 2, nearing completion, is creating expanded shop space for several building trades and will also feature two homes where students will learn about sustainable construction and building. Phase 3 will be a building focused on food, hospitality and tourism. In addition, a new Student Services building opened at the Oshawa campus in January 2011.

For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.

About Beyond Covers Inc.
At Beyond Covers Inc., we have developed a unique and innovative process to convert light film plastic (LDPE) (e.g. shopping bags, food packaging and shrink wrap, etc.) into a material. We divert light film plastics before they reach waste management sites and through a manufacturing process we have developed a material called Ply-me©. Our material enables us to produce cost-efficient products to a worldwide audience for consumer, commercial and custom products (e.g. pet beds, outdoor furniture covers and barbeque covers). Ply-me© is durable, flexible and manufactured in various material strengths. Our material will greatly reduce the environmental damage caused by sending plastic to our landfill sites.

For more information, visit www.beyondcovers.com or call 905.427.1468.

Media contacts:

Allison Rosnak
Communications officer
Durham College
905.721.2000 ext. 2333


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