Canada Invests in Eco-Friendly Alternative to Plastic Microbeads

News release

August 10, 2021                                    Témiscamingue, Quebec                                 Natural Resources Canada

Innovation within Canada’s forest sector is critical to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. That is why Canada is investing in new and innovative technology to support the industry, protect the environment and strengthen our economy.

Marc G. Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development (CED) for Quebec, today announced a total of $4.25 million toward Anomera Inc. to support the construction of a demonstration-scale facility that will produce 250 tonnes per year of carboxylated-cellulose nanocrystals (cCNC) and bring its cosmetics ingredients and industrial products to market.

Anomera’s demonstration facility will create up to 20 new permanent jobs and solidify Canada as a leader in nanocellulose technology. The novel technology that is being commercialized as part of this project, carboxylated-CNC, will lead the company to meet its first targeted market: a green solution to replace plastic and silica microbeads in personal care and cosmetics with its biodegradable product line, ChromaPur. The eco-friendly conversion process developed by Anomera is also creating new, high-value market streams for the Canadian forest sector and is resulting in non-traditional partnerships in cosmetics and industrial applications.

Natural Resources Canada’s $2.25 million in funding for this project is provided through Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, which encourages the Canadian forest sector to adopt and put in place unique technologies and processes to diversify into new product streams and emerging markets. By investing in innovative technologies, the forest sector can provide greener solutions that will help tackle climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy.

The $2-million repayable contribution provided to Anomera by CED will be used to purchase equipment under the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program. This program is geared toward entrepreneurs who leverage innovation to grow their business and make it more competitive, as well as other regional economic stakeholders who are helping to create an entrepreneurial environment conducive to growth for all, across all regions.


“The forest sector is taking action, addressing climate change and working hard to build a better tomorrow. The innovative work of Anomera is helping to lead the way in creating the bioeconomy of the future.”

Marc G. Serré
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources
Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt

“Clean innovation benefits our environment, our economy and our communities. Projects like this demonstrate the role that Canada’s forest sector can play in advancing the Canadian bioeconomy in our transition to a low-carbon economy.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Natural Resources

“The Government of Canada has made concrete commitments to demonstrate that a strong economy and a healthy environment go hand in hand. Among other actions, we are making strategic investments in clean technologies, which are central to our economic recovery plan. By helping SMEs like Anomera to become more innovative and competitive and by boosting innovation to develop greener technologies and products, we are also preparing Canadians for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec
Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville

“Anomera is pleased to be supported by the Canadian and Quebec Governments to enable us to expedite the development of our advanced technology which creates new products from Canadian forests in a sustainable manner. Our initiative to replace plastic microbeads worldwide with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-harvested Canadian forest products is truly redefining the future of cellulose. As we move into the industrial markets, there will soon be tens of thousands of tonnes of demand for the Canadian-sourced cellulose nanocrystals.”

Howard Fields
President and CEO, Anomera Inc.

“Consumers increasingly demand that industry be more respectful of the environment, and Anomera’s products offer global industries natural, bio-degradable alternatives to silica and petroleum-based microbeads. Partnering with Anomera allows us to expand our biofuture strategy and help us to do what we do best: providing customers with sustainable, innovative products for a purer planet.”

Paul Boynton
President and CEO, Rayonier Advanced Materials

Associated links


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada


Ian Cameron
Acting Director of Communications 
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages


Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec

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