Ottawa hosts global treaty meetings to fight plastic pollution as innovation funding released

Sparta Manufacturing Inc. President Bruno Lagacé tours the company’s manufacturing facility with New Brunswick’s Minister responsible for Economic Development and Small Business, Greg Turner. Photo Credit: SPARTA

Nine small and medium-sized Canadian companies will each receive up to $150,000 to develop sustainable and cost-effective solutions to help better reuse plastics or improve the end-of-life management of plastic film for consumer items.

The funding comes as Canada welcomed the world to Ottawa for the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution, which aims to develop innovative solutions for plastic waste in partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International.

“A whole-of-society approach for the development and implementation of a global deal to end plastic pollution is crucial,” Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, announced in a statement. “This means engaging with all levels of government as well as the private sector, non-governmental partners, the science community and Indigenous partners to ensure that all voices and perspectives are considered.”

Federal data from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change estimates that more than four million tonnes of plastic ends up as waste each year, and less than one-tenth of that is recycled.

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In March 2022, 175 nations agreed to make the first legally-binding treaty on plastics pollution, including in the oceans, by the end of 2024.

The new $3.3 million in funding to support Canadian organizations that are developing innovative solutions to address plastic pollution comes through the Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges. The funding is targeted towards sectors known to generate some of the greatest quantities of plastic waste and pollution, and may have technological gaps with opportunity for innovation.

Among the phase one recipients of the new funding are:

  • Circulr Inc., based in Toronto, has created modular reverse vending machines for the collection of reusable goods.
  • MLVX Technologies Inc., based in Vancouver, has created an AI-powered hyperspectral system for sorting plastic film and flexible packaging.
  • Les emballages PickPack Inc., based in Granby, Quebec, has developed rigid and reusable packaging for the delivery of fragile e-commerce products, as well as a system for measuring the impacts of reuse and circular logistics.
  • Sparta Manufacturing Inc., based in Notre-Dame, New Brunswick, is working on the development of an accelerated ballistic separator for improved sorting of plastic film.

Environment and Climate Change Canada is contributing an additional $2 million in funding for advancing a circular economy for plastics in Canada toward 12 projects for organizations to develop solutions to address challenges. 

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