Canada’s Forest Sector Developing Biodegradable Face Mask Filters

News release

August 7, 2020                                           Ottawa, Ontario                                    Natural Resources Canada

The Government of Canada is taking strong, immediate and effective action to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on our economy and protect Canadians. Canada’s forest sector has continued to adapt and implement unique technologies and processes to manufacture new products that contribute to Canada’s pandemic response.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, today announced a $1.3 million investment to FPInnovations for a COVID-19 response project to develop a biodegradable, sustainable filter for single-use face masks made from local, and eco-friendly solutions.

Consistent with Natural Resources Canada’s work plan for personal protective equipment (PPE) waste management, FPInnovations will develop the filters using sustainable and biodegradable material made from Canadian forest fibres. Canadian pulp and paper mills will manufacture this product and provide an opportunity to diversify the forest sector’s revenue opportunities. This product has the potential for Canada to expand its markets internationally and lead the production of sustainable and environmentally friendly PPE.

This investment is part of Natural Resources Canada’s Transformative Technologies Program’s contribution agreement with FPInnovations through the Forest Innovation Program, which promotes research and development on new technologies and products across Canada’s forest sector.

The demand for PPE has increased as the pandemic continues. Canada's forest workers are demonstrating how our natural resource sectors will help Canada rebound economically from COVID-19.


“Biodegradable masks made from Canada’s sustainably sourced forests — just one example of what FPInnovations can do. The ingenuity of Canada’s forest sector, keeping Canadians safer.”

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

“FPInnovations has been on a sprint since the beginning of the pandemic, and we are proud of the work we accomplished toward the need for a single-use face mask with consistent performance that is eco-friendly and locally-produced. We are confident in our capacity to deliver a fully biodegradable made-in-Canada face mask in the near future and thank NRCan for its support of Canadian forest sector workers.”

Stéphane Renou
President and Chief Executive Officer of FPInnovations

Associated links


Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

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