Grand Rapids, Mich. — By showing how a major plastics manufacturer can achieve an ambitious zero-waste-to-landfill goal, Ferris State University hopes to generate more interest in its plastics degree programs.
In February, the university took nearly 50 students enrolled in the Introduction to Injection Molding class on a field trip to injection molder Cascade Engineering Inc. and recycler Bata Plastics Inc.
That was before the Big Rapids, Mich.-based school went to online-only classes at the end of spring break.
The idea behind the visit to the two Grand Rapids-based companies was to show students how Cascade managed to completely eliminate sending any of its waste to landfill. Ferris State had plans to duplicate the effort in its spring semester Introduction to Injection Molding class.
Professor Stephen Wolfer said Ferris State officials had noticed a dip in enrollment in its plastics program last fall, and they wondered if plastic bans and waste issues were discouraging prospective students from plastics careers.