The Government of Canada recently announced over $3.3 million in funding to support Canadian organizations that are developing innovative solutions to address plastic pollution. Specifically, the focus is on solutions for reuse or improved end-of-life management of plastic film.

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.

Funding for Research on Microplastics from Tire Wear

Almost on year ago, the Government of Canada provided funding to three Canadian companies as part of its Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges to address plastic pollution from tires. These small- and medium-sized Canadian companies received up to $150,000 toward developing environmentally acceptable and cost-effective solutions that will reduce the release of microplastics from tire wear in Canada.

Every year approximately six million tonnes of tire wear particles are released into the global environment. Microplastics from tire wear are a global problem and are recognized as a potentially significant source of plastic pollution. Once released into the environment, microplastics persist for a long time and accumulate in natural habitats, potentially impacting ecosystem health.

The following companies are received funding in 2023 to develop their proof of concept:

  • Applied Quantum Materials Inc., in Edmonton, Alberta, is developing a specialized reinforcing additive for tires to minimize microplastic release over different road and temperature conditions.
  • Nova Graphene Canada Inc., in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is developing a graphene-enhanced rubber that could reduce tire-wear shedding and extend the life of tires.
  • Stema Punch and Die Inc., in Cambridge, Ontario, is creating specialized compositions for tires to improve their wear and help stop the shed of microplastics.

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. These Challenges are part of the Government of Canada’s commitments to reduce plastic waste and pollution, while growing the economy and creating good jobs.

Source: Government of Canada