Donovan Faraoni

Donovan Faraoni

Donovan Faraoni is a third-year student in Biodiversity and Ecology and Political Studies from Sherbrooke, Quebec. He conducted a feasibility study to develop a plan to establish a Bishop’s chapter of Precious Plastics, an upcycling initiative that collects, cleans, shreds, melts and re-moulds plastic waste into new items that can be sold for profit.

Plastics have become both popular and pervasive since they were first mass-produced for commercial use, but that their increasing use is accompanied by negative impacts on our environment and health. Sparked by his interest in a career in science policy formulation with a focus on environmental policy, Donovan proposed the creation of a new club on campus.

“There is an urgent need to reduce the plastic waste accumulating daily and persisting in our environments,” says Donovan. “Precious Plastics chapters around the world have shown how it is possible to take action at the local level using reliable, open-source plastic recycling processes.”

Donovan was a member of the Precious Plastics chapter at his previous school, Pearson College, and was able to speak to the benefits of such a program first-hand when approaching stakeholders on campus and in the local community about the feasibility of establishing a Bishop’s chapter.

The study examined a number of aspects that are critical to the success of a Bishop’s Precious Plastics chapter: education about the processes involved and collaboration with the existing Environmental Club, the purchase of specialized machines to treat and transform the plastic, a secure space in which to do the work and promotion of the group’s activities to the campus community.

Donovan approached stakeholders ranging from the Students’ Representative Council, the Procurement Department and Finance, to Buildings and Grounds, Health and Safety and Security to present the project. His goal was to ensure a full understanding of its implications at Bishop’s and gather student, operational and community support.

Donovan sourced potential suppliers for the machines required, assessed spaces on campus that could serve as the club’s location, and worked on plans for the club’s operation and budgets. He received positive and supportive feedback on his proposed plans, and looks forward to the next steps in working towards the establishment of Bishop’s University Precious Plastics as a long-term club that will also help support the University’s sustainability goals.

“In addition to helping me refine my career goals through experimental learning, there will be a  measurable positive sustainability outcome in the form of intercepting and re-purposing plastic waste that otherwise becomes detrimental to human health and ecosystems,” says Donovan. “Additionally, as the project matures, educational outreach activities into the Greater Sherbrooke community can be developed and undertaken by dynamic club members.”