Canada's forest sector developing biodegradable face mask filters
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, announced a $1.3 million investment to FPInnovations for a COVID-19 response project to develop a biodegradable, sustainable filter for single-use face masks made from local, and eco-friendly solutions.
Consistent with Natural Resources Canada's work plan for personal protective equipment (PPE) waste management, FPInnovations will develop the filters using sustainable and biodegradable material made from Canadian forest fibres. Canadian pulp and paper mills will manufacture this product and provide an opportunity to diversify the forest sector's revenue opportunities. This product has the potential for Canada to expand its markets internationally and lead the production of sustainable and environmentally friendly PPE.
This investment is part of Natural Resources Canada's Transformative Technologies Program's contribution agreement with FPInnovations through the Forest Innovation Program, which promotes research and development on new technologies and products across Canada's forest sector.
"FPInnovations has been on a sprint since the beginning of the pandemic, and we are proud of the work we accomplished toward the need for a single-use face mask with consistent performance that is eco-friendly and locally-produced. We are confident in our capacity to deliver a fully biodegradable made-in-Canada face mask in the near future and thank NRCan for its support of Canadian forest sector workers," said Stéphane Renou, President and Chief Executive Officer of FPInnovations.