Archive for Paper Packaging

Pitting Packaging Materials Against Each Other Misses the Bigger Picture

Recent media articles on the potential of paper packaging to replace some of the single-use plastic items being banned in Canada, such as shopping bags and take-out food containers, miss the bigger picture of waste management and consumption in Canada.
Some articles have shared concerns raised by some environmentalists about shifting from plastic to paper packaging materials, but they miss providing fact-based information on how paper packaging is made, how forests are managed in Canada, the function of packaging, the rise of consumption, and the role of the consumer.

The major paper packaging grades made in Canada – which include containerboard (used to make corrugated cardboard boxes), boxboard (e.g., cereal or shoe boxes), and Kraft paper (used for bags and sacs) – are made from a highly recyclable and renewable material that is used repeatedly through the process of recycling.

And yet some articles refer to paper packaging as “single-use,” but on average, paper packaging fibres can be recovered and reused at least 5-7 times.
Focusing on the term “single-use” can miss the point about the larger issues surrounding waste management and consumption, and divert attention away from the federal government’s overarching goal of reducing plastic pollution.
In essence, all packaging materials – be it glass, metal, plastic, or paper – can be considered single-use, but it’s clear that some are more successfully recycled than others. Paper packaging is one of those successful examples. It has an established recycling system and end markets in place to capture used paper packaging so that those materials can be recovered and recycled to make new paper packaging products again and again.

While most paper packaging made in Canada is produced with recycled content, the paper fibres it was originally made from came from a tree. However, the Canadian paper packaging industry doesn’t use much in the way of freshly cut trees, and the little that is harvested must be successfully regenerated by Canadian law.

Some of the articles refer to deforestation without explaining what that means. There is an important distinction between deforestation and harvesting. Deforestation is when forest land is permanently cleared, with trees being removed so that the land can be used for something else. Harvesting, forest fires, and insect infestations do not constitute deforestation, since the affected areas will grow back.
The Canadian government conserves and protects its forests through strict laws and science-based sustainable forest management practices, which stipulate that all areas harvested on public land (94% of Canada’s forests are on public land) must be reforested, either by tree replanting or through natural regeneration (which occurs when new seedlings or sprouts are produced by fallen trees).
In addition, paper fibres used by PPEC member mills are verified to be responsibly sourced by independent, third-party forest certification organizations such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Z809).

While the purpose of some of these media articles is to share environmental concerns surrounding various packaging materials, the articles do not provide information about the function of packaging, or the proliferation of packaging, which should be recognized in any story about packaging.

The function of packaging is to protect its contents, keep the product safe, facilitate transportation along the supply chain, and provide information to the consumer. In some cases that includes mandated information (e.g., ingredient and nutrition labelling, storage information, product use, expiration dates, and bilingual requirements).
There is also the reality of the world we live in today that didn’t exist 20+ years ago. It is undeniable that the use of packaging has surged as consumer shopping and dining habits have changed rapidly. The rise of e-commerce and online shopping, along with the increased use of food delivery services, meal kits, and prepared meals in grocery stores, have seen an exponential increase in packaging and in waste.

It’s clear that consumers want convenience but there are trade-offs in society’s decisions. We all have choices we make when making purchasing decisions, just as we have choices in managing our waste.

Everyone has a role to play in minimizing waste and diverting recyclable materials from landfill – businesses that make and sell products and packaging, waste management industry (recyclers, haulers, MRFs), and consumers. Ultimately it is the consumer who decides how to treat their waste and they need to do their part of properly cleaning and sorting their recyclables from their waste and organics to ensure everything that can be recycled is recycled.

Yes, the federal government’s plastics ban will see businesses shift to other packaging alternatives, including paper-based packaging, and our industry will look to meet the demand as needed, creating paper packaging products that are responsibly certified, sustainable, and recyclable.

As the national association representing the environmental interests of the Canadian paper packaging industry, we will stand by our industry and work to communicate the facts about how paper packaging is made. Our industry has relied on recycled content as its feedstock for decades, making investments in recycling equipment, and buying back high-quality old corrugated cardboard and used paper packaging to ensure they have a good supply of recycled paper fibres. Using recycled content is an inherent part of the Canadian paper packaging industry’s business model.
When media articles narrowly focus on one material over another, they miss the opportunity of educating and informing the public on the bigger picture of how waste is managed, the proliferation of consumption, and how we all have a role to play in minimizing waste.

Rachel Kagan

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

More Posts - Website

Are we putting the cart before the horse when it comes to EPR in the IC&I sector?

The Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC) monitors environmental issues impacting the Canadian paper packaging industry, especially recycling, since recycled paper-based materials are an important supply of our industry’s feedstock.
To that end, we track federal and provincial government activities on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which is a policy approach in which a producer is made financially and physically responsible for ensuring their packaging is properly managed at the end of its life.
In Canada, EPR policies have been mostly applied to managing waste and recyclables in the residential sector – that’s you and I at home – while paper and packaging from the Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional (IC&I) sector is managed separately.
But lately, some provincial governments have been considering EPR approaches for managing paper and packaging materials from the IC&I sector, similar to the approach used for managing materials from residential sources, leaving PPEC to wonder if we are putting the cart before the horse when it comes to EPR and the IC&I sector.
Current State of EPR
Historically, paper and packaging recycling for residential communities has been provided by municipalities as part of their waste management services. And over the last few decades, several provincial governments passed legislation that legally require businesses who make and sell packaging to submit data reports and fund municipal recycling costs. These are known as “cost-shared” program models, wherein municipalities run the programs and businesses pay a portion of the costs.
However, over the past few years, there has been a shift to move towards EPR-based models, where businesses would be responsible for 100% of program operations and funding. If municipalities want to continue their role as a service provider, they would need to agree to terms set by industry; otherwise, industry will negotiate with waste collectors, haulers, and processing facilities directly.
This EPR model currently only truly exists in British Columbia but is being rolled out in other provinces within the next few years.
The above map shows the status of provincial recycling programs for managing residential paper and packaging, but what about paper and packaging from the IC&I sector…
Paper and Packaging in the IC&I Sector
In the IC&I sector – which includes office buildings, schools, hospitals, retailers, grocers, malls, stadiums, theatres, restaurants, and manufacturing facilities – businesses are responsible for managing their own waste and recyclables. This is typically done through business-to-business relationships, where businesses contract directly with waste management service providers.
But over the last few years, some provincial governments have been discussing the possibility of an EPR approach for the IC&I sector.
In fact, Québec became the first precedent-setting province to regulate EPR for managing IC&I materials. It came as part of their move to modernize the existing recycling system for packaging, with the full rollout of the new EPR system for curbside residential and IC&I expected to be completed by January 1, 2025.
British Columbia’s EPR Five-Year Action Plan states that the government is evaluating opportunities and policy options related to improving the recovery and recycling of packaging and paper in the IC&I sector. That does not necessarily mean British Columbia will implement an EPR approach for IC&I, but it does appear to be something they are potentially considering.
And lately, other provinces that have been consulting on establishing new EPR approaches for residential waste streams have also been considering whether to include some IC&I sources of waste in future EPR programs.
PPEC’s Perspective 
While PPEC supports increased diversion and recycling of paper packaging materials from all sectors, IC&I included, we believe that EPR is not necessarily the right overarching policy approach for managing these materials, especially since they are currently being collected and recycled in many jurisdictions across Canada.
First, we can’t assume the same approach used for residential will work for the IC&I sector, as they are two very different and distinct waste streams.
Second, we question if EPR, as it is currently structured and understood, is working as effectively and efficiently as it could be for Canada’s residential Blue Box programs. It may be premature to suggest that the model is right and should be considered for other sectors. The reality is only one province, British Columbia, currently has a true EPR model; while other provinces are in the midst of transitioning programs to EPR or are just starting to develop new programs. It will take time to see if these shifts to EPR result in improved consumer participation, less contamination, better program performance, and overall higher recycling rates.
And third, producers are already taking responsibility for managing their waste and recyclables in the IC&I sector. We know materials are being recycled in the sector as we see it happening firsthand in our industry every single day. Most PPEC member mills use recycled paper packaging materials, including cardboard – collected from commercial and residential sources – as their primary feedstock, allowing them to use high amounts of recycled content in the major paper packaging grades made in Canada. In many cases, PPEC members have their own recycling divisions to make sure they have a good supply of recycled paper fibres that they rely on. Using recycled content is an inherent part of the Canadian paper packaging industry’s operations, and it has been that way for decades.

Bales of Old Corrugated Containers (OCC), collected from commercial sources and processed at the Cascades Recovery+ facility in Scarborough, Ontario, are ready to be sent to a mill, where they will be recycled so they can be remade into new paper-based packaging. Photo taken by PPEC on April 14, 2023.

The Need for Data
It is important that any policy considerations or future decisions be based on sound data. As we stated earlier, paper and packaging in the IC&I sector is already being collected and recycled as businesses contract directly with waste management service providers to collect and recycle their packaging and shipping materials.
PPEC reviewed the latest available data from Statistics Canada’s Biennial Waste Management Survey, which tracks waste diversion from the IC&I sector, and it shows that paper fibres lead the way when it comes to diverted materials from non-residential sources (which includes both the IC&I and the Construction, Renovation and Demolition sectors), with 1,954,655 tonnes of paper fibres diverted in Canada in 2020, representing 46% of total diverted materials (4,214,742 tonnes based on available information) from non-residential sources.

And when it comes to provincial performance, the data shows that several provinces divert more paper fibres from non-residential sources (orange line) than from residential sources (blue line).

We recognize that this data is not perfect, but the trend is encouraging, showing that paper fibres from non-residential sources are being actively recycled and diverted from landfill in Canada.
But we know that not all paper fibres are being diverted.
According to the Government of Canada’s National Waste Characterization Report, the main waste categories in the IC&I sector in 2016 were food and non-degradables at over 60%, while the category of paper represents 14% (though no information is available to describe the composition of the paper waste).
Average national characterization of waste from the ICI sector in Canada in 2016
The data is piecemeal at best. To gain a better understanding of current IC&I waste diversion activity, better data is needed to inform policy discussions.
Key Takeaways and Next Steps
To develop effective strategies and policies for IC&I waste diversion, data is needed. We need to know the statistics about waste in the IC&I sector – how much is being generated, recycled, and disposed of, as well as the composition and types of materials – to be able to identify opportunities to increase recycling.
The existing data is not complete, but it does broadly illustrate what PPEC believes to be true for the Canadian paper packaging industry: that the major paper packaging grades, such as containerboard (used to make cardboard boxes) and boxboard (used to make cereal or shoe boxes), are being collected from the backs of supermarkets, malls, and factories, and being responsibly recycled and diverted from landfill. We know this because using recycled content is an inherent part of our members’ operations.
And when it comes to EPR and IC&I, our message to governments is clear: do not put the cart before the horse.
Let’s not assume that the same approach for residential recycling will work for the IC&I sector since they are two different waste streams. And let’s not assume we have the right formula for EPR.
In many ways, EPR for residential paper and packaging is in its infancy in Canada, with only British Columbia currently having an EPR approach, while other provinces are transitioning to producer responsibility models. It will take time to see if these shifts result in higher recycling rates and more efficient and effective systems.
Let’s get EPR for residential right first before we even consider applying it elsewhere. Getting it right means that consumers understand their important role in properly recycling. Getting it right means focusing beyond just collection, and recycling more of what is being collected. Getting it right means having end markets consistently available to ensure materials are being recycled.
In the meantime, PPEC will be watching Québec closely as the precedent-setting province that regulated an EPR approach for managing materials in the IC&I sector; and we will continue to encourage governments to collect updated data to have informed policy discussions; while we keep promoting our industry’s circular economy approach to managing paper-based packaging materials in Canada.

Rachel Kagan

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

More Posts - Website

Article Overlooks the Importance of Recycled Content

In the November 28th New York Times Magazine article, Where Does All the Cardboard Come From? I Had to Know, writer Matthew Shaer does a deep dive on what he refers to as the “cardboard economy” – everything from the history of who invented it, how it’s made, and its global marketplace.

Image adapted from The New York Times Magazine

First off, to us at PPEC, while “cardboard” is a commonly used term that we all understand – the box our deliveries come in – the industry terms are a bit different.

A corrugated box is made from strong paper fibres, comprising a top and bottom layer of paper fibre known as linerboard, and a middle layer, called corrugating medium, which is the wavy part that gives the box its strength.

Image of linerboard corrugating medium

While a boxboard or paperboard carton typically only holds a single item – i.e. cereal or shoes – it does not require the same strength properties as a corrugated box, so you won’t see any wavy ripples in those.

But back to the article. While it is mostly focused on the scale and size of the international market for corrugated packaging – which is expected to reach an estimated $205 billion by 2025, according to the article – it does refer to some of the environmental attributes of corrugated packaging, noting that it is “more recyclable than other shipping methods,” and even likens it to a classic fairy tale:

“Corrugated packaging has a Goldilocks quality to it,” says Tim Cooper, a project director for the
market-research and testing firm Smithers. “It’s easy to produce, it’s strong and it’s sustainable,
because unlike plastic, it comes from a renewable resource.”

We agree that it is strong and sustainable, but there is nothing fictional about the environmental sustainability of corrugated packaging. What Goldilocks needs to understand is that not only is it recyclable, it is actually and actively recycled, allowing it to be reused again and again.

Using recycled content is an inherent part of the Canadian paper packaging industry’s operations. PPEC member mills have been using recycled paper fibres for decades. It makes environmental and business sense to recycle and reuse old paper packaging, including Old Corrugated Cardboard, so it can be remade into new paper-based packaging products again and again, keeping valuable raw material out of landfill.

While the New York Times article reports on its high recycling rates in the U.S., it does not discuss the importance of recycled content, making it sound like boxes are made mostly from trees.

In fact, trees are mentioned in the article 16 times, while recycling is mentioned 11 times.

The sustainable management of forests, and what happens after consumers and businesses recycle their boxes is not mentioned, which may perpetuate the myth that paper-based packaging primarily uses trees in the manufacturing process, which is simply untrue.

In Canada, the average recycled content for domestic shipments of containerboard, which is used to make corrugated boxes is 86.5%, and nearly 80% for boxboard, according to PPEC’s Recycled Content Survey.

The remaining materials used in the mix include sawmill residues and some virgin fibres from responsibly sourced forests. But to be clear, the Canadian paper packaging industry doesn’t use much in the way of freshly cut trees, and the little that is harvested must be successfully regenerated by law. In 2019, the total forest harvest (for lumber and all paper grades including packaging) represented 0.2% of Canada’s forest land, according to The State of Canada’s Forests Annual Report.

We don’t take issue with the New York Times article itself, it is a well-researched piece on what has become a preferred packaging choice, and we expect there will be a continued shift towards paper-based packaging, especially as governments consider banning some types of materials, similar to Canada’s ban on single-use plastics.

But, articles like this should also talk about the critical role that recycling plays in the sustainability of the paper packaging industry. That must be part of any story about corrugated and paper-based packaging because it is an inherent part of our industry’s story.

When we use and recycle paper-based packaging, we all play a part in protecting and replenishing our renewable resources, contributing to the sustainable management of Canada’s forests, and supporting the circular economy of the paper-based packaging industry through the important act of recycling.

Rachel Kagan

Executive Director
Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council

More PostsWebsite

Celebrating Circular Economy Month

Earlier this year, the Circular Innovation Council announced that October marks the inaugural Circular Economy Month. As the Council continues to build on the success of their annual #WasteReductionWeek, they are now expanding the focus to circular economy for the entire month.

In their announcement, they shared “For 20 years Waste Reduction Week in Canada has focused on the concepts of waste reduction and recycling as a key component of our transition to a circular economy…Circular Innovation Council is extending Waste Reduction Week in Canada beyond the third week of October into Circular Economy Month to educate and excite Canadians about the opportunities and benefits of the circular economy.”

SourceCircular Innovation Council

As paper-based packaging is one of Canada’s first circular economies, PPEC is excited to support this campaign. We recognize that focusing on the circular economy is a continual, year-round activity, and there is no doubt that drawing additional attention to it and creating a larger discussion throughout October will be beneficial to raising awareness and enhancing education. 

What is a circular economy, and why is it important?

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation states that “a circular economy is a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. In contrast to the ‘take-make-waste’ linear model, a circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources.” 

And according to the report, “Turning Point – The Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada” from the Council of Canadian Academies, “Only 6.1% of materials entering the Canadian economy come from recycled sources…For Canada to maintain its strong economy and global competitiveness, meet its commitments to reducing carbon emissions and maintaining biodiversity, and keep its people prosperous and healthy, it is critical that Canada’s economy to become more circular.” 

We all have a role to play to play in developing and supporting the circular economy – from businesses actively working to reduce their climate footprint, to governments developing evidence-based policies, and to consumers understanding the environmental impacts of their purchases.  

The Stanford Graduate School of Business agrees as their recent white paper, the Road Toward a Circular Value Chain, states, “…businesses alone cannot win this battle. A successful transition to a circular economy requires all stakeholders…to take action, so that we can leave future generations a better world to live in.” 

Paper-Based Packaging: A Canadian Circular Economy Success Story

Our industry’s circular economy starts with PPEC members and the mills that produce the raw material, which is mostly made up of recycled content. 

From there, converters turn it into recyclable paper-based packaging, which is used by businesses, government, institutions, and consumers. Once used, it is recycled, making its way back to the mill to be remade into new paper packaging products. And the process starts all over again.

Recycling is a critical component of the Canadian paper packaging industry’s circular economy. Recycled content keeps raw materials flowing longer, reducing the need to extract virgin materials. And the average recycled content for domestic shipments of the three major paper packaging grades – containerboard, boxboard, and kraft paper – is close to 82%, based on PPEC’s 2020 Recycled Content Survey

And while research shows that paper can be recycled up to seven times, and corrugated box fibres up to ten times, a recent study from Graz University of Technology in Austria found that fibre-based packaging material can be recycled at least 25 times without losing mechanical or structural integrity. While this new research suggests that paper and board fibres are even more durable than previously thought, we know that we still have work to do to try to better understand how many times paper fibres can be recycled in Canadian recycling systems.  

That circularity only comes with each player playing their part – from the businesses like PPEC members making it a priority to use recycled content in their operations, to consumers actively and responsibly recycling their paper-based packaging.

Using less and making less – just makes sense all around. Paper packaging is a circular economy that utilizes renewable resources that are regenerated, promotes the use of recycled content, and minimizes waste.

Rachel Kagan

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

More PostsWebsite

How Does Canada’s Ban on Single-Use Plastics Impact Paper Packaging? 

There have been a lot of recent developments related to Canada’s Zero Plastic Waste Agenda and the federal government’s ban on single-use plastic products, which is why it is a perfect time to share this blog examining some of the latest news, key activities, and the potential impacts on the paper packaging industry.

Ban on single-use plastic

On June 22, the Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations were published, which prohibit the manufacture, import, sale, and export of the following single-use plastic items: checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws.

The ban comes into effect December 2022, with sale of the prohibited items effective December 2023, and the ban on exporting the prohibited plastics by the end of 2025.

There are some exceptions to the ban, which are outlined in this technical guidance document.

Consultations on plastics labelling rules and data collection

On July 25, the federal government launched two consultations related to their work on combating plastics pollution, including the development of labelling rules for recyclability and compostability, and the development of a federal plastics registry.

The government’s news release, Government of Canada takes next steps forward on better plastic recyclability, compostability, and tracking and associated backgrounder, states that “Labels on plastic packaging that claim recyclability or compostability are often inaccurate,” – speaking of which, have you read PPEC’s blog on environmental claims? – and that new rules would prohibit the use of the recycling symbol, and other claims, unless at least 80% of Canadians have access to recycling systems that accept plastic packaging and have end markets for them.

The government also intends to regulate the use of terms such as “compostable,” “degradable,” and “biodegradable” in the labelling of plastic packaging and single-use items; and plans to develop a registry that would require producers to report annually on the quantity of plastic products they place on the Canadian market, and how these products are diverted from landfills after use.

Plastics ban and paper packaging

Going back to the single-use plastics ban, the government’s guidance document for selecting alternatives provides info on how to transition away from the banned items, offering that plastics could be reduced by using other materials including wood, paper, and moulded pulp fibre.

So, what does this mean for paper-based packaging?

Both from a broader perspective, but also with regards to the specific newly banned items, there is a market shift towards using more sustainable and renewal packaging materials. Companies such as P&GCarlsbergAmazonMcDonald’s, and Nestlé, to name a few, have all recently made announcements regarding changes in some of their packaging, with a clear shift towards paper-based packaging.

This ban will likely see that trend continue, and groups like Fisher International believe the Pulp and Paper industry has an opportunity to step in to provide alternatives, which they wrote about in Canada’s New Plastic Ban Could Drive Renewed Interest in the P&P Industry. While their article raises a lot of important questions for the industry to consider – such as impact on future pulp prices, capital investment needs, and the state of sustainably-managed forest supply – it doesn’t speak directly to the environmental attributes of paper-based packaging, so let’s take a minute to talk about that.

The major paper packaging grades made in Canada – corrugate boxes, paperboard boxes, and paper bags – are produced primarily with recycled content. While the paper fibres originally come from trees, hardly any of Canada’s commercial forests are harvested for paper packaging; and by law, every hectare that is harvested in Canada must be successfully regenerated.

A mill produces the material used to make paper packaging, using mainly recycled content, and then a converter turns it into paper packaging. After having used the packaging, the customer recycles it, and the recycled product goes back to the mill, where it is remade into new paper-based packaging. And the cycle repeats itself again and again.

Just how many times is ‘again and again’? Initial research had shown that paper could be recycled up to seven times, and corrugated box fibres up to ten times, but a recent study from the Graz University of Technology in Austria found that fibre-based packaging material can be recycled at least 25 times without losing mechanical or structural integrity.

When it comes to residential recycling programs that accept paper-based packaging, we know that 96% of Canadians have access to recycling for corrugated boxes and paper bags, and 94% for boxboard cartons, determined through an independent third-party study commissioned by PPEC.

For recycling, PPEC has estimated a national recovery rate for corrugated boxes of at least 85%, with recycling even higher in certain provinces, such as Ontario’s residential Blue Box program, which has a 98% recovery rate for corrugated (according to the most recent pay-in-model information previously made available from Stewardship Ontario).

In 2019, it was estimated that Canada generated 1.89 million tonnes of plastic packaging, of which 12% was recycled, according to research from the Canada Plastics Pact (CPP).

While we know efforts are underway to transition to a more circular economy for plastic packaging in Canada by groups like the CPP, PPEC is proud that paper packaging is one of Canada’s original circular economies.

Rachel Kagan

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

More PostsWebsite

Little Green Lies: Q&A with Author John Mullinder

The Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC) sat down with its former and long-standing Executive Director, John Mullinder, who helped formed PPEC in 1990, and retired in February 2021.

Photo of John Mullinder

John recently published his new book, Little Green Lies and Other BS, which focuses on environmental claims and advertising; it is a follow up to his first book, Deforestation in Canada and Other Fake News, published in 2018.

Little Green Lies Book Cover

Little Green Lies is well researched and organized, covering about 40 different subjects in alphabetical order from “Ancient” Forests to “Zero” Waste.

PPEC chatted with John about his new book, and excerpts from our conversation follow, edited for length.

Hi John! Can you please give our readers a brief description of your new book and why you wrote it?

One of my reviewers described it as “an entertaining and informative dictionary of environmental buzzwords (and claims) that are widely used (or made) but often poorly understood.” The book examines those buzzwords, what they mean and whether the current use of these terms is accurate, misleading, confusing, deceptive or just plain wrong, and includes 38 pages of sources for the information (that’s the dictionary part).

I wrote it because there is so much misinformation, and sometimes deliberate greenwash, about these buzzwords and claims, and I want to set the record straight.

What can readers hope to learn from this book?

Not to accept all environmental claims as apple pie. To question the use of particular buzzwords. To understand and analyse the context in which claims are made, whether they are made by businesses, governments, or environmental groups. And to avoid making those same claims themselves.

The book doubles as an educational tool for staff, customers, journalists, policy advisers.

Or as one of my reviewers wrote: “This is a great reference book that will help you sort the facts from the fiction. If you’re a writer, editor, public relations professional, legislator, educator, work for an NGO, or are simply a consumer who wants to know the truth, this book should be on your shelf or Kindle list.”

What can people expect to learn from reading Little Green Lies (image)

How does this book differ from your first book, Deforestation in Canada and Other Fake News?

The focus of “Deforestation in Canada and Other Fake News” was to debunk two commonly-held myths: that Canada is running out of trees, and that massive deforestation is taking place in our own backyard. Both not true.

While “Little Green Lies” does cover these issues as well, it is far broader, examining a wide range of forestry and paper issues, packaging, recycling, and waste. It is also more international, incorporating as much global and US data and perspectives as possible, not just Canadian data.

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to forestry – particularly related to deforestation and “ancient” forests – where does the confusion come from, and how do we address it?

There is widespread confusion about each of these because people work to different definitions of them. And the media makes it worse by not explaining what the terms mean and/or misapplying the meaning of the words. We (and I mean collectively) need to develop broadly agreed-upon definitions that we can all work to, and to publicize them widely, especially to journalists. The United Nations, for example, has a very clear definition of deforestation.

UN definition of deforestation

With increased activity and attention on corporate greenwashing — the practice of making false or misleading environmental sustainability claims — and with the Competition Bureau of Canada archiving its Environmental Claims Guide, do you believe there are enough resources available to provide clarity on claims and misleading marketing practices?

Absolutely not. And even the advice that is out there (the archived guidelines you refer to) are inadequate. This is one of the reasons they were archived as a matter of fact. Greenwashing is a major issue and it needs sufficient resources allocated to it, urgently. Or nobody will believe anything. And that is a slippery slope.

PPEC has long called for disposal bans on paper-based packaging, considering such materials are recyclable and end markets exist; why do you think there is resistance to implementing such bans?

What really gets up my nose are provinces spouting off about how we should all move to a circular economy while they do little or nothing to change the economics that make it cheaper to send stuff to landfill rather than to recycle it.

The circular economy is all about reusing materials again and again, and the provinces have the power to do something about this. They need to demonstrate some political fortitude and be willing to take on the commercial interests of municipalities and waste haulers who happen to own landfills.

Ban old boxes from landfills, says paper industry

Do you have any comments on the state of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies and legislation in Canada as they relate to the paper-based packaging industry? And how does the consumer/resident – who ultimately decides how to dispose of their waste and recyclables – fit into the concept of EPR?

I think we have to be very careful in claiming EPR as the solution for materials ending up in landfill. Any costs that producers incur through EPR schemes will inevitably be passed on to consumers. What’s important for industry (including the paper industry) is that any fee structure be fair and evenly applied. Non-performers must be penalized for any scheme to work.

And a major education job is required to get the consumer in the loop. For example, about 40% of Ontario Blue Box recyclables go straight to the trash because householders are confused about whether certain materials are recyclable or not. Much (but not all) of this trashed material is perfectly recyclable.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your new book Little Green Lies?

I know this will sound a bit like a sales pitch (it is!), but I think the book provides a sound basis for critically examining many of the environmental claims we see and hear today (whether they are from industry, governments, or environmental groups). The sources for the information I provide are all there. Facts do matter. 

Rachel Kagan

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

More PostsWebsite

Government Amends Ontario Blue Box Regulation

The Government of Ontario made amendments to the Blue Box Regulation, which came into effect on April 14, 2022.

The amendments do not change the original intention of the regulation – to transition the existing Ontario Blue Box model from a shared funding model to a full producer responsibility model – and do not impact collection requirements, diversion outcomes, or key dates (transition will still begin July 1, 2023). The amendments were made to clarify the process for creating the province-wide system for collecting Blue Box materials. The key changes include:  

  • Removing the rule creation process, including the allocation table, from the regulation.
  • Allowing producer responsibility organizations PROs to collaborate on a province-wide collection system; and requiring PROs that represent producers that supply more than 66% of Blue Box tonnes to submit an operational plan to RPRA for how they will operate the system by July 1, 2022.
  • Exempting newspaper producers (whose supply accounts for at least 70% of their total Blue Box supply) from collection, management, and promotion and education requirements for two years; newspapers will remain an obligated material under the regulation, and will continue to be collected in the Blue Box system.

RPRA Webinar May 18 

The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA), which is the regulator mandated by the government to enforce the province’s circular economy laws, is hosting a virtual Q&A for stakeholders on May 18 at 11:00am EST to review the amendments; to register click here.

Newspaper Associations Support Newspaper Exemption

On the news of newspaper producers being exempted from the Ontario Blue Box amended regulations, both the Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA), who represent provincial community newspapers, and News Media Canada, the voice of the print and digital media industry in Canada, expressed their support for the government’s decision.

Alicia McCutcheon, president of the OCNA said: “We do applaud the Ford government for doing this… We’ve never viewed ourselves as the same as the tin can or the plastic wrap people of the world, we’re not packaging,” according to the National Post’s Newspaper lobby group ‘applauds’ exemption from Ontario’s new recycling program.

And Paul Deegan, president of News Media Canada, issued a statement:

Canada’s newspaper publishers applaud the Ontario government’s leadership in recognizing that newspapers are not packaging and should be exempt from extended producer responsibility fees. We hope other provinces will follow Ontario’s lead in eliminating this punitive measure. The unintended consequence of EPR on newspapers is to reduce the number of pages in a newspaper or for the paper to simply close or go online only…. Newsprint has the highest level of collection of all recyclable materials, a stable end market, and high commercial value.” 

Newsprint and the Ontario Blue Box Program

Stewardship Ontario’s 2020 Annual Report states that: “Historically, newspapers have represented a large volume of material in the Blue Box and, because of their high recycling rate, boosted the performance of the Blue Box program overall.”

In 2010, newsprint accounted for over 55% of the total Blue Box marketed tonnes, but it now makes up 23% of tonnage, according to RPRA’s 2020 Datacall.

2020 Marketed Ontario Blue Box Materials (in tonnes,, expressed as a percentage)

Marketed tonnes represent the tonnage sorted and processed by a Material Recycling Facility, which are then baled, sold, and used in place of virgin materials. 

Paper-based Packaging – which includes old corrugated cardboard, old boxboard and a portion of residential mixed papers and mixed fibres packaging – has the largest component of Ontario Blue Box marketed tonnes (271,433 tonnes), representing 35.9% of total Blue Box marketed tonnage (756,984). 

As for the performance of Ontario’s Blue Box program, the 2019 recycling rate was 57.3%, down from 60.2% in 2018, the decline explained by Stewardship Ontario in their 2020 Annual Report:

“The reduction of newsprint, magazines and catalogues and other printed paper materials, along with higher residue rates and higher contamination standards imposed by end markets, are the main reasons for the overall decline in recycled tonnes.”

Table 4 of RPRA’s 2020 Datacall Report shows Marketed Blue Box Tonnes from 2015 to 2020, with Printed Papers – which includes newsprint, household fine paper, telephone books, and catalogues – showing a nearly 62% decline in tonnage over the five-year period; while Paper-based Packaging is up nearly 73% over the same period.

Marketed Ontario Blue Box Tonnes, 2015-2020

PPEC Commentary

It will take some time to understand the implications of the regulatory amendments, and any impacts they may have on the transition to a producer responsibility model for the Ontario Blue Box program. PPEC continues to remain concerned about the feasibility of meeting the paper targets under the new transitioned program, which we have previously written about. We will continue to monitor developments.

Rachel Kagan

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

More PostsWebsite

Sustainable Forest Management and Canada’s Paper Packaging Industry 

With today’s International Day of Forests, the Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC) would like to explain how sustainable forest management is critical to the circular economy of Canada’s paper packaging industry, and share the latest developments related to how forests can help mitigate climate change.

Environmental sustainability is at the core of PPEC member company operations and the Canadian paper packaging industry, including the sustainable management of Canada’s forests. And yet, misconceptions surrounding forestry and paper packaging persist when it comes to how paper packaging is made.

How Paper Packaging is Made

In Canada, paper packaging is made from virgin, recycled, or blended pulp (a mix of the two); with all paper fibre sources verified to be responsibly sourced by independent, third-party certification bodies.

Most domestic shipments of the three major paper packaging grades made in Canada – containerboard (used to make corrugated boxes), boxboard (used to make boxboard cartons), and kraft paper (used to make paper bags) – are made from recycled content (81.7%).

Mills also use sawmill residues – such as wood chips, shavings and sawdust left over from sawmill operations – and some supplement their pulp with virgin fibres from trees, which represents about 12% of the average paper-based box, carton, or bag.

Canada's Major Paper Packaging Grades Made Primarily from Recycled Content

The mixture of using recycled content – old boxes and other paper materials collected from residential and business recycling programs – along with some new fibres from sustainably managed forests, is an important component to paper packaging’s circular economy.

First, by law, every hectare of commercial forest that is harvested in Canada must be successfully regenerated, so any trees that are harvested are replanted.

And second, through the important act of recycling, paper packaging is continually collected from Canadian residents and businesses, so it can be remade into new paper-based packaging products again and again.

Paper Packaging: One of Canada's Original Circular Economies

And while stats show that paper can be recycled up to seven times, and corrugated box fibres up to ten times, a recent study from Graz University of Technology in Austria found that fibre-based packaging material can be recycled at least 25 times without losing mechanical or structural integrity.

While this new research suggests that paper and board fibres are even more durable than previously thought, we know that over time fibres weaken, which means a small amount of new virgin fibre needs to be introduced now and again, which leads to a second common misconception regarding deforestation.

The Causes of Deforestation and the Role of Regeneration in Sustainable Forest Management

According to Natural Resources Canada’s State of Canada’s Forests 2020 Annual Report, Canada’s 347 million hectares of forest area is stable, with less than half of 1% deforested since 1990.

But there is often a lot of confusion about deforestation, which is when forest land is permanently cleared and converted to make way for new, non-forest land use.

Canada’s annual deforestation rate has been declining since 1990, when it was 64,000 hectares, down to about 34,300 hectares in 2018. During that time, less than half of one per cent of Canada’s total forest area was converted to other land uses.

The major causes of deforestation are due to agriculture, mining, oil and gas projects, new homes, and the development of ski hills and golf courses, which together represent over 90% of deforestation in Canada.

The Major Causes of Deforestation in Canada (2018)

The forestry sector’s (which includes pulp and paper manufacturing and the wood product manufacturing subsectors) share of deforestation represents 1,494 hectares, or approximately 0.0004% of total deforestation in Canada.

And given that the Canadian paper packaging industry doesn’t use much in the way of freshly cut trees, the little that is harvested (0.2% in 2018) must be successfully regenerated (427 million seedlings were planted across Canada in 2018), making packaging’s share of deforestation zero.

Deforestation Facts

The Role of Forests in Mitigating Climate Change

Sustainably managed forests have an important role to play in helping to mitigate climate change, as trees capture and store carbon, acting as carbon sources or carbon sinks: a forest is considered a carbon source if it releases more carbon than it absorbs, and a carbon sink if it absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases.

The Canadian government knows this and has committed to plant two billion additional trees by 2030, which would represent a 40% annual increase in the number of trees already being planted, and would lower emissions by up to 12 megatonnes annually by 2050 by removing carbon from the atmosphere.

Considering the carbon storage by forests is just one of the many recommendations from a new report by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Forest Products in the Global Bioeconomy: Enabling substitution by wood-based products and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals; which speaks to the role renewable forest products have in helping to combat climate change, and explores how wood-based products could help replace fossil-based and GHG-intensive products:

“There is strong evidence at product level that wood products are associated with lower GHG emissions over their entire life cycle when compared to products made from non-renewable or emissions-intensive materials. A review of 488 substitution factors obtained from 64 published studies indicates that the use of wood and wood-based products is generally associated with lower fossil and process-based emissions when compared to non-wood, functionally equivalent products. However, over three-quarters of studies in the literature focus on the construction sector and significantly less information exists for other traditional forest products such as paper for printing, writing, and packaging, or emerging forest products.”

As Two Sides North America’s Kathi Rowzie explained in Can Paper Help Save the Planet?:

“The document left open for later study the extent to which paper and paper-based packaging may serve as substitutes for non-wood products in the search for those that contribute to the net reduction of greenhouse gases, but there’s little doubt that any product sourced from materials that are grown and regrown are better for combating climate change than the non-paper alternatives.”

In addition to the FAO’s new report, the Forest Products Association of Canada recently released the documentary, Capturing Carbon, highlighting the role of sustainable forest management and wood products in helping to mitigate climate change; and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development released its Forest Sector Net-Zero Roadmap, about the forest sector’s role in enabling the transition to a net-zero economy. These are just a few of the developments related to forestry’s role in addressing climate change, which PPEC is monitoring.

When we use and recycle paper-based packaging, we all play a part in protecting and replenishing our renewable resources, contributing to the sustainable management of Canada’s forests, and supporting the circular economy of the paper-based packaging industry.

On International Day of Forests, it is important to remember that Canada’s forests are stable and sustainably managed.

Rachel Kagan

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

More PostsWebsite

The Latest Ontario Blue Box Recycling Data for Paper-based Packaging

Paper-based packaging continues to be the largest captured material in Ontario’s household Blue Box program, based on new data released by the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA).

Each year, municipalities, recycling associations, and First Nation communities in Ontario report on their residential waste diversion programs to RPRA, through the annual Datacall. The most recent Datacall Report summarizes information generated by the 250 programs participating in the Blue Box Program in 2020, and highlights residential waste management trends.

Overall, the Blue Box recovery rate – the amount of designated packaging and printed materials recovered as a per cent of the amount generated – increased to 59.9% in 2020, up from 57.3% in 2019.

Of interest to the Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPPEC) and its members, is Figure 3 from the report, which shows Marketed Blue Box Materials in tonnes. Paper-based Packaging has the largest component with 271,433 tonnes, representing 35.9% of the total Blue Box marketed tonnage (756,984).

Source: Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority 2020 Datacall Report

Marketed Blue Box tonnes represent the tonnage sorted and processed by a Material Recycling Facility, which are then baled, sold, and used in place of virgin materials.

The second largest material is Printed Paper with 23% of marketed tonnes. However, this category – which includes newsprint, household fine paper, telephone books, and catalogues – continues to decline year over year.

Table 4 of the Datacall Report shows Marketed Blue Box Tonnes from 2015 to 2020, with Printed Papers showing a nearly 62% decline in tonnage over the five-year period.

Meanwhile, paper-based packaging – which includes old corrugated cardboard, old boxboard, and a portion of residential mixed papers and mixed fibres packaging – shows a nearly 73% increase in tonnage over the same period. The most recent year shows a 13.1% increase, which may be attributed to the rise in e-commerce shipments due to the pandemic.

Source: Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority 2020 Datacall Report

RPRA’s Datacall Report states that 99.8% of Ontario households have access to recycling corrugated and boxboard paper-based packaging. And not only do they have access, Ontario households are actively doing their part to recycle these materials.

The Ontario household recovery rate for Corrugated Cardboard is 98%, and 47% for Boxboard, according to Stewardship Ontario’s 2022 Blue Box Fee Calculation Model.

RPRA’s Datacall Report also offers insights into 10-year trends, including declining newsprint and rising program costs. Overall, Blue Box marketed tonnage decreased by 14.7% from 2010 to 2020, largely due to the continued decline of printed paper in Ontario, which has seen a 64% decrease over the last 10 years. Meanwhile, Net Blue Box costs have increased 35.2% from $203 million in 2010, to $349.8 million in 2020, while revenue received by programs is declining.

The Ontario Blue Box program is currently undergoing transition to a full producer responsibility framework, which will see producers take over 100% operational and financial management of the program by December 31, 2025.

Paper-based packaging is collected for recycling at both the household level, and from the backs of factories, supermarkets, and office buildings (also known as the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional sector). And as recycling plays an important role in the sustainability of Canada’s paper-based packaging industry – allowing PPEC member mills to maintain high levels of recycled content – PPEC closely monitors recycling and waste diversion statistics published by provincial stewardship organizations, Statistics Canada, and other organizations.

PPEC is proud of our industry’s circular economy approach to managing paper packaging products, which are continually collected and recycled through residential and business recycling programs across Canada, allowing them to be remade into new paper-based packaging products again and again.

Rachel Kagan

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

More PostsWebsite

Competition Bureau Archived Canadian Environmental Claims Guide: Now What?

On November 4, 2021, the Competition Bureau archived Environmental claims: A guide for industry and advertisers, stating that:

“The Guide may not reflect the Bureau’s current policies or practices and does not reflect the latest standards and evolving environmental concerns. The guide will remain available for reference, research and recordkeeping purposes, but it will not be altered or updated as of the date of archiving. Please consult Environmental claims and greenwashing for information about false, misleading and unsubstantiated environmental claims.”

The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency, responsible for the enforcement of the Competition Act, which forbids companies from making false or misleading claims about a product or service; and takes aim at environmental claims that are vague, non specific, incomplete, or irrelevant and that cannot be supported through verifiable test methods.

The practice of making false or misleading environmental claims is known as “greenwashing,” and it is illegal in Canada and many other jurisdictions.

And under the Competition Act, Canadians can apply to have the Bureau investigate a greenwashing claim. 

This blog talks about recent greenwashing investigations and activities, the importance of evidence-based claims, and PPEC’s commentary about how recent developments are signalling increased awareness and enforcement around environmental claims.

Competition Bureau image

Competition Bureau Investigates and Fines Canadian Beverage Company over Recycling Claims

The Competition Bureau investigated Keurig Canada, a producer and distributor of hot and cold beverages, over its environmental claims on the recyclability of their K-Cup pods.

According to the Bureau’s January 6, 2022 news release, “Keurig Canada to pay $3 million penalty to settle Competition Bureau’s concerns over coffee pod recycling claims,” it reached an agreement with Keurig Canada “to resolve concerns over false or misleading environmental claims made to consumers about the recyclability of its single-use Keurig® K-Cup® pods.”

The Bureau’s investigation concluded that the company’s recyclability claims for its single-use coffee pods were “false or misleading in areas where they are not accepted for recycling.” Outside of British Columbia and Quebec, K-Cup pods are currently not widely accepted in municipal recycling programs.

As part of the settlement, Keurig Canada agreed to pay a $3 million penalty; donate $800,000 to a Canadian charitable organisation focused on environmental causes; pay an additional $85,000 for the costs of the Bureau’s investigation; change its recyclable claims and the packaging of the K-Cup pods; and publish corrective notices about the recyclability of its product on its websites, on social media, in national and local news media, in the packaging of all new brewing machines and via email to its subscribers.

For additional information, please see the Competition Bureau’s news release and public case documents.

Reaction to Competition Bureau Investigation and Other Potential Inquiries

Ecojustice, a Canadian environmental law charity, called it a “major win for consumers and the environment,” in their January 14, 2022 blog post Keurig’s $3 million fine highlights thepervasive issue of greenwashing, writing:

“This victory comes following a 2019 submission by Ecojustice and the University of Victoria Environmental Law Clinic to the Competition Bureau which highlighted several instances of false and misleading marketing of K-cups as a ‘green’ and easily recyclable product for Canadian consumers.”

In addition to the Keurig inquiry, Ecojustice “has also prompted the Competition Bureau to open two other inquiries into greenwashing claims: about so-called ‘flushable’ wipes and the Sustainable Forest Management Standard.”

Ecojustice believes that the Canadian Standards Association’s Sustainable Forest Management Standard (CSA Z809) “is patently false and misleading,” and in July 2021, they called for an investigation into ‘sustainable’ logging in B.C., regarding their concerns that “it is not at all possible to sustainably log 800-year-old trees.”

Ecojustice hopes that “the Keurig case signals the Competition Bureau will take meaningful action to hold companies to account for greenwashing.”

Italy’s First Greenwashing Case

On January 13, 2022, law firm Clifford Chance reported on Italy’s first greenwashing case between corporates, where an Italian Court upheld a company’s request for an interim injunction against a competitor.

The case was brought forward by Alcantara S.r.l., a textile manufacturer – who recently hosted the 6th edition of the International Symposium on sustainability entitled “Greenwashing and Sustainability: a growing trend that needs to be addressed” in October 2021 – against Miko S.r.l., one of its competitors, who markets a microfibre product.

The claims made by Miko included statements such as: “environmentally friendly,” “100% recyclable,” and “natural choice,” to name a few. The Court ruled that the statements were “vague, generic, false, and non-verifiable and needed to be immediately removed.”

Forbes’ December 8, 2021 article, Alcantara Wins Major Court Battle Against Greenwashing, states that Judge Francesca Clocchiatti cited the “rapid expansion of the pathological phenomenon of greenwashing.”

Words Matter: The Importance of Evidence-Based Claims

So why is the Canadian association for paper-based packaging talking about an Italian court case?

Because it is a reminder of the importance of terminology, and that environmental claims must be clear, accurate, and based on fact and data.

PPEC has written about this issue before – see Clarifying some of the confusion over “recyclability” and Nothing is 100% recyclable or 100% compostable – but in terms of environmental labelling, what matters is whether the consumer can actually send the product or material for recycling or composting. It does not matter whether the product or material is technically capable of being taken apart and broken down so it can be properly recycled or composted. It does not matter what the actual recycling or recovery rate of that material might be.

What matters is how many Canadians have access to the recycling (or composting) of that product or material.

Competition Bureau - 50% in Canada, 60% in the U.S image2

In Canada and in the U.S., the definition of the word “recyclable” for environmental labelling purposes has been understood to mean that a reasonable proportion of the population – which is 50% in Canada, according to the Competition Bureau; and 60% in the U.S., according to the Federal Trade Commission – has access to the recycling of that package or packaging material.

In Canada, we know that 96% of Canadians have access to recycling for corrugated boxes and paper bags, and 94% for boxboard cartons, determined through an independent third-party study. Knowing that, PPEC has stated that Canadian box, bag and carton manufacturers can print the word “Recyclable” and use the Recyclable logos on their packaging. However, we do not currently have the same data available for access to composting in Canada. 

It’s also important to note that while most Canadians have access to recycling facilities, there are some who live in remote regions who do not have easy or convenient access to recycling. Therefore, it is important to remember that 100% access for Canadians will likely never be achieved, which make claims like “100% recyclable,” misleading and untrue.

In the U.S., 94% of Americans have access to community paper recycling programs, and 79% have access to residential-curbside recycling programs, according to the American Forest & Paper Association’s (AF&PA) recent 2021 Access to Recycling Study.

Recyclable and compostable claims, then, are based on whether and to what extent consumers have access to recycling or composting facilities. While we have data on access to recycling, we do not currently have the same data available for access to composting in Canada. 

PPEC’s Commentary  

These recent developments signal increased awareness and enforcement around environmental claims.

Any company which puts forward environmental claims on their products or packaging are reminded that they need to know the applicable laws to ensure they are making informed legal decisions and evidence-based claims.

PPEC members are no exception, and we have historically pointed our members in the direction of the Competition Bureau’s now archived Environmental Claims guide, in addition to providing them with information and data about access to recycling.

So, what does it mean now that the guide has been archived? And if the guide “may not reflect” current policies, practices, or standards, what does?

At first, we took the archiving of the Competition Bureau’s guide in the most literal sense of the word – “archive” as in put aside, put in storage, basically shelving it – which felt confusing and unexpected during a time when there has been a significant increase in “greenwashing” news.

But knowing that the opposite of archive means to remove or delete, we are now taking this move to mean that the guide is still here and “will remain available for reference, research, and recordkeeping purposes,” as the Competition Bureau put it.

While we recognize that the guide is not going anywhere, PPEC encourages the Competition Bureau to provide updated guidance as it becomes available.

Meanwhile, we remind PPEC members to ensure they are aware of, and comply with, existing obligations when making environmental claims, and to refer to the Competition Act, the Competition Bureau’s Environmental claims and greenwashing, and its January 2017 news release, Calling it “organic”, “green” and “eco-friendly” isn’t enough, that’s greenwashing, and it’s against the law, for additional information.

Multinational companies may also need to consider guidance available in other jurisdictions, including, but not limited to:

In general, PPEC advises against using vague claims, broad terms, “100%” claims. Environmental claims should be clear, accurate, evidence based, and comply with existing obligations.

Consumers are increasingly environmentally conscious, aware, and informed, and in many jurisdictions, including Canada, they are empowered to take action.

We believe the news reported on in this blog signals more than just a trend, but a concerted pushback against greenwashing, both here in Canada, and globally.

Rachel Kagan

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)

More PostsWebsite