Recycled Plastics in Food Packaging

The guidelines for Recycled Plastics in Food Packaging were updated to align with Environment and Climate Change Canada's (ECCC) plastic waste reduction mandate and the upcoming Food Packaging Materials (FPM) program. These regulations provide detailed information on sorting, collection, and recycling processes. The updates ensure consistency among international partners such as Europe and the United States.

photo of sustainable packaging

Recycled content requirements: The Government will require plastic packaging in Canada to contain at least 50% recycled content by 2030

A food manufacturer may consider looking into recycled packaging to meet the needs of consumers and the recycled content legislation. The Chemical Health Hazard Assessment Division (CHHAD) in the Bureau of Chemical Safety is responsible for administering and setting standards for food packaging materials. They also conduct safety evaluations of these materials based on request.

Packaging materials that are used for food products can be voluntarily submitted for a premarket assessment of chemical safety in relation to Section B.23.001 of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR). The only exception is for packaging infant formula or certain novel processes.

These submissions can be sent by e-mail to The food manufacturer will receive an acknowledgement letter with a file number within a week, the packaging materials will be evaluated for chemical safety and if Health Canada has no objection, they will provide a Letter of No-Objection. The letter is valid as long as the chemical composition and intended use of the recycled material remain the same, and science continues to support it.

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