Government of Canada invests to support Canadian innovators to find ways to reduce plastic pollution

News release

April 23, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario

Everyone plays a role in reducing the plastic waste that chokes our landfills and the plastic pollution that litters our streets, shorelines, waterways, and even our food supply. Improving how plastics are made, used, and managed can help protect biodiversity, the environment and our health, strengthen sustainable economies, create jobs, and fight climate change.

Today, as Canada welcomes the world to Ottawa for the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution (INC-4), the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced over $3.3 million in funding to support Canadian organizations that are developing innovative solutions to address plastic pollution.

Nine small- and medium sized companies will each receive up to $150,000 to develop environmentally acceptable and cost-effective solutions to help better reuse plastics or improve the end-of-life management of plastic film that commonly wraps consumer items. The funding for these projects is being provided through the two latest Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges, which has committed over $25 million to Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses to date.

More than $2 million from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s funding for Advancing a Circular Economy for Plastics in Canada is going to 12 recipients for projects that will identify new opportunities, facilitate collaboration and information sharing, help reduce investment risk, and encourage the adoption of circular solutions. Circular solutions are ways that products and materials are kept in circulation (or in use) by either maintaining, reusing, refurbishing, remanufacturing, or recycling them.

Today’s funding is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to reducing plastic waste and pollution while supporting good jobs in a sustainable and growing economy. It is also an important part of Canada’s evidence-based and comprehensive plan to move toward a circular economy through a range of complementary actions across plastics’ life cycle.


“Plastics will continue to be part of the global economy, but we must all find better ways to reuse, remanufacture, or recycle them because plastic pollution knows no borders. Canada welcomes the world to Ottawa this week to negotiate a deal that will turn the tide on the plastic pollution that is literally encircling the globe. We are fully committed to ending plastic waste in Canada, but we cannot do this alone. By working together, we can create a cleaner, healthier future for everyone while keeping plastics in the economy and out of the environment.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Our government is relentless when it comes to addressing one of the greatest challenges of our age by helping move Canada toward zero plastic waste and a sustainable economy. New technologies can play a pivotal role in reducing plastic waste and pollution, while helping grow the economy and create good jobs. That’s why we are committed to supporting new ideas that enhance our understanding of the threats posed by plastic pollution and the development of evidence-based solutions through initiatives such as the Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges supported by the Innovative Solutions Canada program.”

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“We’re investing in Canadian-made solutions because everyone plays a role in tackling plastic pollution. Small- and medium-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, researchers, and others are key partners in achieving Canada’s vision of a zero plastic-waste future. The work these partners are doing will help drive innovation and mobilize solutions across the country to address real-life issues.”

– Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

Quick facts

  • In 2020, Canadians generated 4.9 million tonnes of plastic waste—about one percent of that entered the environment as pollution.

  • Plastic film and flexible plastic packaging is a significant contributor to plastic waste and pollution, and the current recycling rate for all flexible plastic waste generated in Canada is below four percent—due, in part, to issues with its collection and sorting.

  • Plastic packaging and single-use plastics represented over 37 percent of all plastics circulating on the Canadian market in 2019. They make up over 50 percent of all plastic waste generated in Canada, but less than 14 percent are recycled.

  • Funding for Advancing a Circular Economy for Plastics in Canada has supported initiatives in the textile sector; the industrial, commercial, and institutional sector; the quick-service restaurants sector; and for upstream solutions, such as reuse, to reduce single-use plastic packaging.

  • The Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges are part of the Innovative Solutions Canada program. The Challenges seek solutions for sectors that generate some of the greatest quantities of plastic waste and pollution and/or show the greatest opportunity for impact and innovation.  

  • To date, through 18 Innovative Solutions Canada Challenges, the Government of Canada has committed over $25 million to Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses to innovate and develop solutions to address plastic pollution and waste.

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Kaitlin Power
Senior Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Laurie Bouchard
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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