Ottawa funds bioplastics research projects

OTTAWA – A $300,000 investment in the first phase of a Bioplastics Challenge is 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.

“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,” said Laurence Boudreault, general manager, Bosk Bioproducts Inc.

“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.”

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.

“G-PAK is extremely proud to have been selected for Phase 1 of the Bioplastics Challenge,” said Darren Footz, CEO, GCUP – Technology Corp.

“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.”