Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change has announced funding for four firms as part of the Plastics Innovation Challenge — one of which is developing a low-cost process to recycle more textile waste such as clothing.

The Canadian Plastics Innovation Challenges are part of the Innovative Solutions Canada programme. The challenges target plastics sectors that generate some of the greatest quantities of plastic waste and show the greatest opportunity for impact and innovation. These challenges are part of the Government of Canada’s commitments to reduce plastic waste, while growing the economy and creating good jobs.

The winning firms will each receive up to US$150,000 toward developing their solutions to address plastic waste.

Of the four winners, Met-Tech Inc, based in Burlington, Ontario, is developing a low-cost process to recycle more textile waste such as clothing.

Among the other three is Montréal, Quebec-based CACITH Inc (Tengiva), which is creating a network of recyclers to quantify textile waste and find new markets for otherwise wasted materials.

Singular Solutions Inc, in North York, Ontario, is developing a biosustainable additive that will cause plastic textile waste to biodegrade in long-term-composting landfill facilities, while Magemi Mining Inc, based in Markham, Ontario, is developing a durable recycled paper to serve as a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging like grocery bags.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support made-in-Canada solutions to plastic waste and pollution. Small businesses are key partners in achieving Canada’s vision of a zero-plastic-waste future by 2030. By working together, we can create a cleaner future, while growing the economy and creating good jobs,” says Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Norm Rathie, president, Met-Tech Inc, added: “It is with the grateful support of the Innovative Solutions Canada Program that Met-Tech is now able to focus innovative technology on eliminating key roadblocks preventing the recycling of waste textiles and the commercialisation of high value-added cellulose and starch-based polymer materials. If successful, this support will help Canada become a world leader in sustainable, low-carbon-footprint technology while simultaneously contributing to the reduction in materials ending up in landfills and our environment.”