OTTAWA: Reducing plastic pollution is an international imperative that is important to Canadians and people around the world.

As part of its climate change commitments, the Government of Canada is collaborating with small businesses to reduce pollution and help create a greener, more sustainable environment for everyone.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $300,000 investment in the first phase of a Bioplastics Challenge aimed at helping small businesses reduce pollution by turning forest-based residue into sustainable domestic plastic material.

The investment will be split equally between two recipients whose projects have the potential to reduce pollution by improving the compostability of bioplastics. The recipients are

Bosk Bioproducts Inc., based in Quebec City, is developing a highly compostable and cost-effective bioplastic made from paper mill sludge and wood fibre residue that is compatible with plastic manufacturers’ existing equipment, and
GCUP — Technology Corp., based in Vancouver, is developing a completely plant-based and compostable single-use coffee pod from bioplastic and wood fibre.

Natural Resources Canada collaborated with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to develop this challenge as part of the Domestic Plastics Challenge under the federal government’s Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program. If accepted into the second phase of the challenge, the recipients could receive up to $1 million to develop a working prototype of their innovation.

ISC is a $100-million program dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to complex environmental challenges. The Government of Canada may then act as a first customer, helping these small businesses commercialize their innovations, scale up their business and create good jobs for Canadians.

Quotes

This Bioplastics Challenge is one great example of the transformation that is underway in Canada’s forest sector. The bioeconomy is developing new products, adopting greener business models and making the best use of our resources. Our government is proud to see Canadian small businesses at the forefront of finding solutions to environmental challenges that affect Canada and our planet as a whole.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

Our government leverages its enormous purchasing power to ensure Canadian small businesses can grow and innovate. Through Innovative Solutions Canada, we’re finding new ways to improve the recycling of plastic materials, advancing Canada’s bioeconomy and investing in Canadian-made solutions.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and employ over eight million hard-working Canadians. That’s why our government is committed to helping small businesses start up, scale up and access new markets. Innovative Solutions Canada is a fantastic program that uses government procurement to help small businesses innovate and then commercialize their innovations. These are worthy new challenges, and I can’t wait to see what our innovative Canadian small businesses come up with.

The Honourable Mary Ng
Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

Bosk Bioproducts offers a viable and eco-friendly alternative to conventional plastic. Made from forest biomass, non-food carbon sources and non-toxic ingredients, our compostable bioplastics finally offer a solution to the plastic waste problem, in line with sustainable development principles. With the support of NRCan, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Innovative Solutions Canada, we are able to further our R&D activities in order to develop bioplastics that can replace conventional plastics while respecting established composting standards.

Laurence Boudreault
General Manager, Bosk Bioproducts Inc.

G-PAK is extremely proud to have been selected for Phase 1 of the Bioplastics Challenge. More than 40 billion single-use coffee pods are now sold worldwide every year. We aim to develop an alternative that is bio-based, 100 percent compostable and brews a great cup of coffee. We are also pleased to involve Prof. Zachary Hudson’s research group at UBC in achieving this goal.

Darren Footz,
Chief Executive Officer, GCUP – Technology Corp.