As polymer chemist, lector Dr Rudy Folkersma feels partly responsible for the issues concerning plastics. Using his extensive knowledge, he helps the Circular Plastics professorships to come up with solutions, through research into the mechanical recycling, chemical recycling and upcycling of plastics.
“As a polymer chemist, I naturally know a great deal about plastics. With this knowledge and as a lector in Circular Plastics I now want to help come up with solutions concerning plastics, such as the increasing demand for plastics and the massive stifling drifts of waste in our oceans and seas. Together with the business sector, I concentrate mainly on innovations in the area of sustainable plastics technology and carry out research into mechanical recycling, chemical recycling and upcycling. In addition to this, I have developed two minors and a master’s programme in this area. I work at the professorships, a partnership between Van Hall Larenstein and Stenden University of Applied Sciences, together with Dr Jan Jager. At Stenden we are both lectors in Sustainable Plastics. This allows us to contribute to a circular economy in a wider sense.”
“What I like about applied research is making improvements to existing products and processes together with students, researchers and the business sector. Sustainability remains the common thread throughout the generation of innovations. Education, research, enterprise and the government all play an important role, and are inextricably linked. They all need one another to successfully carry out joint projects.”