Canada's Mission On Sustainable Packaging

Plastic waste has been a thorn on Canada’s side. Granted, single-use plastic packaging and products account for half of all plastic waste annually, making it critical to promote sustainable packaging in Canada.

For that reason, the government wants to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 30% between 2005 and 2030 and divert about 75% of plastic waste from landfills by 2030 (which can be accomplished through recycling and reusing). 

By and large, the Canadian government is taking the plunge to deliver innovation challenges, like the Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenge, that enhances the growth and development of clean technologies to reduce plastic waste. 

It is incentivizing companies to develop recyclable, reusable, and compostable packaging as part of its plan for a zero-plastic waste future, and a recent beneficiary is the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA)


CMPA’s C$376,200 War Chest

Through the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Programme (CASPP), the Canadian government is investing in brands that use food and produce packaging to make the packaging sustainable (recyclable and compostable). 

About C$376,200 has been invested in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), enabling them to punch above their weight class. 

Seemingly, the aim of the project is to promote innovation that shapes the food and produce packaging roadmap, promoting the migration to sustainable packaging in Canada’s food and produce. 

Therefore, the investment will help the organization:

  • Understand the country's food and produce packaging system,
  • Study the impacts of various packaging options, 
  • And form a deployment plan.

Atop environmental sustainability, all stakeholders involved, e.g., recycling facilities, retailers, food manufacturers, packaging producers, and consumers, will enjoy alignment with leading food and produce sustainable packaging, a new packaging circular economy, and the use of composting systems across the country.

About the CPMA

The CPMA is a not-for-profit entity aiming to enhance Canada’s market for fresh produce, allowing its member organizations to enjoy easier produce trade by piggybacking off its networks and resources. 

Based in Ottawa, Ontario, the CPMA works with an assortment of members, including growers, packers, importers, exporters, shippers, food service distributors, and fresh-cut operators. 

The members are responsible for about 90% of fresh vegetable and fruit sales in Canada, enhanced by CPMA connecting the industry, advocating for the stakeholders' interests, and growing the market.  

To fund its operations, it accepts voluntary services in any shape or form and funding from sponsors like CASPP.

Other Change Makers

Over C$500,000 has been disbursed to the Circular Plastics Taskforce from the Ministry of Economy and Innovation. The money will help ramp up operations at its recycling project in partnership with food, beverage, and packaging companies. 

Magemi Mining Inc., based in Ontario, is working on a packaging innovation to replace plastic packaging. The innovation is recycled paper with significantly low levels of graphene oxide, and the company received C$1 million from Innovative Solutions Canada to knock the project out of the park.

A Deep Dive Into the Problem

The government of Canada is on a mission to stop the bleeding in the packaging industry. But what exactly has got them rattled?

  • Most packaging serves its function for a short period before losing its value and becoming waste.

  • The cost of managing packaging waste is prohibitive. The municipal waste managers, and by extension, the taxpayers, incur this cost.

  • Recycling some types of packaging is a tall order. While plastic bags and bubble wrap (the ones you pop to relieve stress) can’t be recycled, bioplastics are recycled for lower-value uses. On the other hand, recyclable materials like composite packaging and plastic films can be recycled but usually end up in landfills due to the difficulty and cost of management. 

  • By its very nature, the production of packaging has negative impacts on the environment, like the use of valuable virgin materials, extensive energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and boundless water consumption.

  • Recovery rates of packaging are low, which means even recyclable packaging ends up in landfills and the ocean, killing marine life. Granted, only 9% of plastics are recycled, while over three million tonnes of plastic are thrown away annually. 


Packaging engineers can contribute to a greener future!

Why Sustainable Packaging is Essential

Research shows that about 71% of Canadians find sustainable food packaging more important than they did half a decade ago, and consumers are okay with paying more for food if it aids the environment; the market has spoken.

Also, because sustainable packaging utilizes low-impact production processes and recycled materials, it conserves raw materials, preserving natural resources for the future. 

Over and above that, sustainable packaging averts health hazards. 

Packaging crates created from agricultural waste, such as straw, corn fibre, and rice hull, minimize your exposure to hazardous and toxic chemicals during manufacture, which you would otherwise be exposed to during Styrofoam production. The creation of Styrofoam can expose you to the risk of kidney failure, depression, headaches, impaired hearing, weakness, and fatigue. 

To end, sustainable packaging is cost-effective for food manufacturing companies. That’s because it reduces resource consumption and the business's carbon footprint. 

How QTalent Greases the Wheels of Manufacturing

As food manufacturers gear themselves to adopt recyclable and compostable packaging in line with where the industry is headed, demand for sustainable packaging is ballooning.

Consequently, research & development specialists, packaging engineers, and maintenance specialists will be required to design and create new packaging, especially in meat, dairy, & bakery manufacturing. Maintenance engineers will be in high demand as well to ensure all manufacturing equipment works to the T. 

QTalent does its magic by connecting the right technical savants to the best employers in the industry. We don’t just help you find a job; we connect you to companies that value what you offer and respond in kind. 

At QTalent, when you create your resume, you only have to do it once — no more customizing your resume for every single job application.

Unequivocally, our platform is the tip of the spear in Canada’s talent discovery industry for food and beverage processing workers, so jump on the bandwagon and sign up to create a profile today!

Elton Mwangi


Elton has been a writer and has contributed his expertise to the HR industry for the last 5 years. He's passionate about working with companies that utilize HR technology to improve the employee experience and the future of the workforce. He starts his morning with a cup of joe and the latest article from HR Morning and SHRM to equip his audience with quality blog content.

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