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One of Canada’s largest bakeries is moving to compostable bread clips

By Rhythm Sachdeva

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    TORONTO (CTV Network) — A major North American bakery is planning to replace its plastic bread bag clips with compostable cardboard ones in a move it says will eliminate 200 metric tonnes of single-use plastics annually.

Bimbo Canada announced on Monday that all its bread products will only use compostable clips by June 2022, starting at its commercial bakery in New Brunswick.

Bread clips or tags come in the form of little, hard plastic closures that are primarily used to keep plastic bags closed. They’re most often found in the form of polystyrene, a hard-to-recycle plastic that is used in packaging.

Bimbo Canada says the cardboard bread tags are made from 100 per cent recycled cardboard and are compostable in municipal systems across Canada.

This move is also in line with the federal government’s announcement to ban certain single-use plastic items sometime in 2022.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadians discard three million tonnes of plastic waste each year, and only nine per cent of it is recycled.

A study conducted by Deloitte and Cheminfo Services Inc. shows that the majority of plastics introduced to the Canadian market and discarded as waste in 2016 were actually packaging materials. This included plastic bags, bottles and other items commonly used in the food and beverage sector.

While bread clips aren’t mentioned in the study, these products globally remain very high in demand. They are anticipated to be valued at US$4.8 billion in 2022 and are forecast to have an annual growth rate of 6 per cent – to be valued at US$8.5 billion from 2022 to 2032.

Bimbo Canada says it partnered with Quebec-based KLR Systems, which developed the cardboard bread tags.

“We developed this product knowing some small plastics, like bread tags, cannot always be recycled,” Audrey Gagnon, general manager of KLR Systems, said in a statement on Monday.

Many retail and food stores in Canada have already started to shift from offering plastic checkout bags to recyclable alternatives.

Retail giants like Sobeys Inc., Foodland and FreshCo transitioned to reusable and paper bags in early 2021, with most of their banner stores across the country eliminating plastic bags altogether in 2022.

“It’s important we lead change and be responsible stewards of the environment and the communities that we live and work in, by delivering results,” said Joe McCarthy, president of Bimbo Canada, in a release.

“All changes, big or small, make an impact.”

By making changes to plastic waste management, it’s possible to reduce 1.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, the government has said.

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Sonja Puzic

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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