ADRA GULLIDGE

OASE Intern at EcoNow Tech

Major: Mechanical Engineering

University: Oregon State University

AT A GLANCE

Industry: environmentally-friendly packaging development

Project Type: materials reuse and energy reduction

Year: 2017

Location: Albany, Oregon

 

 

PROJECT SUMMARY

Adra Gullidge assisted EcoNow Tech with the re-design of a client's packaging product to be made of compostable, plant-based materials instead of petroleum, and assessed waste and energy use at the company's facility.

Questions about this project? Contact Lisa Cox

BACKGROUND

  

With a goal of diverting waste from landfills, EcNow Tech manufactures compostable plastic restaurant supplies and distributes various bio-plastics and hybrid plastic products. They also work with clients to design and develop environmentally-friendly packaging products specific to their business needs. EcoNow Tech sets environmental standards for itself, and seeks to be energy efficient and mitigate waste from its own manufacturing facilities. 

SOLUTIONS

Gullidge worked with EcoNow Tech employees to meet and exceed rigorous client needs for a package re-design of a petroleum-based product with a short lifespan to a plant-based, compostable product that could withstand UV radiation without embrittlement and be used for 12 months without significant degradation. In addition, Gullidge conducted a basic pollution prevention assessment of the EcoNow Tech facility and found several waste and energy reduction opportunities, including a machine to compost compostable cups, bags, or food scraps used by the employees, updating lighting in offices to be more energy efficient, and using solar panels.
 

POTENTIAL IMPACTS

Gullidge recommended that EcoNow Tech purchase a composting machine to reduce their carbon footprint, improve the sustainability of the company, and propel their company vision. She also recommended updating lighting in offices (including sensors for the light fixtures and mercury free bulbs), installing automatic door openers for adjoining warehouses and offices, and adding solar panels to the facility roof.

The recommended projects have the potential to annually reduce:

  

$13,500

in costs to the company

  

5.9

metric tons of CO2

  

47,300

kilowatt hours of energy