Packaging Materials Sustainability and Recycling Workshop for Industry Professionals

Packaging Sustainability and Path-Forward for Packaging Industry

The course is self-paced fundamental course using the MSU online platform D2L Nov. 1-22, 2022. There will also be two live sessions with Dr. Rabnawaz to answer questions from the attendees scheduled at the end of week one and week two. These interactive sessions will be recorded and shared with registered attendees. The material will include video lectures, lectures notes, and other supplemental materials for deepening knowledge.  Attendees will need to watch videos and read notes provided to prepare them for the interactive sessions.  A certificate of completion will be mailed to each participant.

Cost is $800/student or $1400 for 2 students.


Muhammad Rabnawaz, Ph.D., has been an assistant professor for the Michigan State University (MSU) School of Packaging since August 2016. In 2013, he earned a Ph.D. from Queen’s University, Canada, in polymer chemistry, and held postdoctoral positions at Queen’s University between 2013 and 2015, as well as the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) between 2015 and 2016.

Currently, he is pursuing research in the field of polymer science encompassing sustainable materials and multifunctional materials. One of his missions is to create new generation of highly skilled workforce, reduce plastic waste from packaging industry, and create end-of-life solutions for waste plastics. He teaches multiple courses including Packaging with Plastics, an undergraduate-level course; Advanced Polymer Synthesis, a graduate-level course; and Packaging Sustainability and Recycling, a graduate-level course. Dr. Rabnawaz has authored over 50 refereed publications in leading scientific journals and is co-author of the renowned book on “Plastics Packaging” 4th edition. In addition, he holds 33 patents filed/issued within the U.S. and internationally, including at least 8 that are licensed or optioned. Dr. Rabnawaz has received multiple awards, including the 2021 MSU Innovator of the Year and NSF CAREER award 2021. Dr. Rabnawaz is also co-founder of a couple of companies related to his MSU technologies.  He is also a knowledge partner for “Circular Great Lakes” with a zero-plastic mission

Course Title: Packaging Sustainability and Path-Forward for Packaging Industry

Key Learning outcomes from this course:

  • Understand packaging materials (plastic, wood, paper, glass, metals) sustainability issues, regulations, and potential solutions
  • Learn how to stabilize different packaging materials for the safe delivery and use of the packaged product
  • Make data-driven choices when it comes to packaging sustainability
  • Understand advances in plastic recycling and leverage them in the decision-making process for your company to meet the upcoming recycling regulations
  • Enhance your company profitability by taking the packaging sustainability laws as an opportunity to do better than the competitors

Course Modules:

Plastics: Appropriate plastic selection; stability of the plastic during use; chemical and mechanical recycling; understanding upcoming regulations; trends in packaging with plastics, the future of multilayers, and so on.

Paper/paperboard and Wood: Degradation and stability of the wood and paper/paper during use as packaging material; recycling of wood/paper products; EPR related to paper, paperboard, and wood products

Glass: Factors affecting the stability of glass as packaging materials; how to improve the strength of glass as packaging material, glass recycling

Metals: Factors affecting the stability of metals as packaging materials; how to improve product stability in metallic cans/containers, metals recycling

Packaging materials end of life:  Packaging waste issues; Legal, regulatory, and green design

Who should attend this course:                                       

  • Companies’ sustainability team/leader/manager
  • Companies’ materials R&D team/leader/manager

The workshop will be help online.

If you need to cancel please at a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the course start date by emailing Cimberly Weir at
Should the class need to be cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19 or other variant issues, you will be notified immediately.

Registration for Packaging Materials Sustainability and Recycling Workshop is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on November 16, 2022.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For information contact Cimberly Weir, Outreach Coordinator, at