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Earth Day sees companies, governments announce initiatives to help the environment

More sustainable packaging and reducing plastic waste part of Earth Day announcements.
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Earth Day
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With Earth Day upon us once more, sustainability is once more top of mind with many Canadians and companies.

To mark this Earth Day—which began on April 22, 1970—Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee announced it has invested in new production capability to provide a new, more sustainable packaging option for coffee formats.

The Boardio paperboard canister, provided by a world leader in sustainable consumer packaging Graphic Packaging International, provides an alternative to plastic, glass, and metal containers and delivers the same level of freshness and food safety with less waste.

The new packaging uses 50% less plastic and can be delivered flat allowing for more efficient transportation of the packaging as fewer trucks are needed to deliver the packages.

“Our new packaging solution is a win for the planet, for our customers and their consumers,” said Kim Cunningham, Mother Parkers’ chief commercial officer. “It offers a recyclable packaging option with less plastic, without sacrificing any of the freshness, consistency, or quality that Mother Parkers-produced coffee is known for. For retailers with private label coffee programs, it’s a way to show innovation, gain share, and drive shelf and transportation efficiencies, all while supporting their sustainability objectives.”

The new packaging is the result of a partnership between Mother Parkers and Graphic Packaging to create a recyclable paperboard canister specifically tailored for coffee using Graphic Packaging’s Boardio technology.

“We’re committed to innovation, sustainability, and meeting the rapidly evolving demands of consumers,” said Johan Werme, Graphic Packaging’s head of sales for paperboard canister solutions. “By helping our customer Mother Parkers to transition from plastic into Boardio, we’re helping them make a world of difference to their customers, consumers—and to our planet.”

READ:  Conagra Brands' Michael Fazio talks about sustainability on eve of Earth Day

Government also took this Earth Day to announce planes to help reduce waste and plastic getting into the environment.

Canada is seeking to get a better handle on how much plastic is being produced in the country by forcing companies that make it to report annually on what they produce.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is announcing the national plastics registry the day before negotiations for a global treaty to end plastic waste gets underway in Ottawa.  Guilbeault is a key player in the talks, which aim to establish an international agreement to eliminate plastic waste by 2040.

Canadians throw away more than four million tonnes of plastic every year, and less than one-tenth of it is actually recycled. The registry will first apply to makers of plastic packaging, electronics and single-use plastic products, with plans to extend in later years to cover producers of resins, tires and agricultural products.

They will be required to report every year on how much plastic they make, and where those products end up.

Earlier this month, Starbucks announced it is now shipping more sustainable cold cups to its stores across the U.S. and Canada. These new cups for cold beverages use up to 20% less plastic. In doing so, some 13.5 million pounds of plastic can be diverted from landfills each year.

"On this year's Earth Day, we celebrate the planet that gives us the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat – and we reaffirm our work to protect it,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "Canada is a country with natural wonders, from our coastlines – the longest in the world – to northern glaciers and breathtaking mountain ranges. But as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution increasingly threaten our ecosystems, we know that preserving these gifts has never been more important.

"This year's Earth Day theme, 'Planet vs. Plastics', reminds us of the urgent need for transformative action to address plastic pollution head-on. Canada is helping build a world free of plastic pollution by championing the adoption of an international, legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution by 2040. Here at home, we are introducing new requirements to ensure greater transparency and accountability from corporations during the full life cycle of plastics, so they stay out of our landfills and the environment. And this week, Canada is once again bringing the world together, as the host of the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution, to achieve an ambitious global agreement to end plastic pollution.

"Through our 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, we are on a solid path toward meeting our emissions reduction targets, including our 2026 target. This marks the first time that Canada is expected to achieve a climate target, ensuring clean air and safe communities for all Canadians. Meanwhile, we are making historic investments in clean technology that are creating good, sustainable jobs for people across the country.”

With files from The Canadian Press.

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