2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Project Plastic Funnel

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Amy Moll, Dr. Noah Salzman, and Dr. Vicki Stieha


A recent study at Boise State involving students and faculty found that a large number of Type-1 plastic products are used daily and not properly recycled. The study was conducted by examining both waste and recycling bins in several buildings on campus. Type 1 plastics were the most common found in the waste stream and indicated that 77% of Type-1 plastic found on campus came from plastic water bottles or soda bottles. Our team’s goal is to reduce the plastic waste stream by generating campus-wide awareness of plastic’s journey to and from Boise State. We are examining ways to reduce plastic use on campus by 20%, and making that solution scalable to other universities. Because new constraints set by Republic Services and the City of Boise, no plastic waste generated on campus is being recycled. Hence this urgency and importance of this project is even higher. We are conducting interviews with various constituencies on campus and continuing to collect data on plastic waste generated on campus. The solution to reducing plastic waste will involve a change in behavior across campus and a systemic change to the use of plastics on campus. This project holds unique importance at Boise State due the challenge of recycling plastics.

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