New Prototype Face Mask Using Canadian Wood Pulp to Support Canada’s COVID-19 Response

News release

July 31, 2020                                                  Ottawa, Ontario                                                Natural Resources Canada       
    

As we begin to reopen the economy and plan our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, the Government of Canada is committed to building a clean energy future and supporting the natural resource sectors. Canada’s forest sector, a source of great economic benefit for our country, continues to implement innovative practices and technologies to keep the sector growing, while contributing to Canada’s response to the pandemic.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, today announced $300,000 for a COVID-19 response project by Pulp Moulded Products Incorporated (PMP) — a company based in Newmarket, Ontario, which focuses on products made from Canadian pulp. Additional support for the project is being provided by Kruger Incorporated.

The project will see PMP create a prototype for low-cost, non-surgical, disposable masks for civilians and industrial workers. The masks will be made of responsibly harvested wood fibre – a renewable material that can potentially be recycled or composted — thus creating an affordable and environmentally friendly product for consumers. The mask production and supply chain will also be 100 percent Canadian, eliminating dependency on imports for the production of non-medical masks.

Funding for this project is provided through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, which encourages the Canadian forest sector to adopt and implement unique technologies and processes to produce new forest products for emerging markets. By investing in innovative forest sector technologies, we can provide greener solutions that will help tackle climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy.

Canada's forest sector is a major employer of Canadians, including Indigenous people and people in rural and remote communities. A competitive and resilient forest industry is essential to communities and workers across the country. The Government of Canada recognizes the hardships that forest workers and communities are facing across the country during the pandemic and will continue to invest in the forest sector’s COVID-19 economic recovery. Our natural resource sectors are key to helping Canada emerge from the pandemic even stronger.

Quotes

“This is another example of the incredible value of our forest sector. They are helping us keep Canadians safe.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“We’re excited to introduce a made in Canada mask that is unique in the marketplace.  Through this project, we hope to achieve a reliable local supply of inexpensive, highly effective antiviral, green masks that will help in the continuing efforts to protect Canadians through this difficult time”.

Gord Heyting
Pulp Moulded Products Inc. CEO

“In these unprecedented times, we are pleased to team up with another innovating organization, Pulp Moulded Products. Their recognized expertise in moulding, combined with our know-how in recycling and low-carbon footprint fibre products, allow for the supply of sustainable pulp to provide Canadians with access to more ecofriendly disposable masks.”

Maxime Cossette
Kruger Inc. Vice-President, Global Sustainability and Biomaterial

Associated links

Contacts

Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
613-447-3488
Ian.Cameron@canada.ca     

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
343-292-6100
NRCan.media.RNCan@canada.ca

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