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General Reference Section All Guides

  • What is Life Cycle Analysis

    Life Cycle Analysis

    An executive summary of "what is life cycle analysis" is provided.
  • What is Advanced Recycling?

    Advanced Recycling Technology

    An executive summary of what is advanced recycling technology and what it means for food packaging.
  • What plastic materials are most favourable and unfavourable in produce packaging?

    Preferred Plastics Guide

    Helps CPMA members in their packaging decision making process by identifying favourable and unfavourable plastic materials, and ones to minimize in the design of packaging structures.
  • Where do I get more information on creating a circular economy for plastics in Canada?

    CPP Roadmap to 2025

    A shared action plan to build a circular economy for plastic packaging in Canada.

  • What are the quantities of plastic packaging generated in Canada, and how it is being managed?

    CPP Foundational Report

    Reviews the quantity of plastic packaging generated in Canada and how plastics packaging is being managed. 

  • What are the Golden Design Rules?

    The Golden Design Rules

    The GDR's are voluntary commitments outline specific design changes aligned with globally recognized technical guidelines and targets laid out in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation?s New Plastic Economy Global Commitments.
  • How do I determine if a plastic package is recyclable?

    RecyClass Online Tool

    This tool assesses the recyclability of plastic packaging and shows to what extent it is suitable for recycling by rating it within a class system from A to F, and provides recommendations on where improvements to the package can be made.
  • Are there other examples of Sustainable Packaging Roadmaps?

    Sustainable Packaging Roadmap

    Explores all aspects of sustainable packaging including definitions, key objectives, strategies, and tactics, and provides a 10 factor decision making framework that impacts all sustainable packaging decisions.
  • What are the key packaging material considerations for addressing consumer requirements?

    Packaging Material Selection Guide

    Helps identify, assess and select packaging material options which address end user requirements related to safety, minimizing environmental impacts, and consumer convenience and affordability.
  • How much packaging and paper products are collected and disposed in the IC&I sector in Canada?

    BC IC&I Packaging and Paper Products (PPP) Report

    This a baseline report which helps to better understand the quantity, quality and composition of packaging diverted and disposed in the IC&I section.

  • What is the National Produce Strategy for plastic packaging in Canada?

    Plastics Packaging Roadmap

    Highlights a National Produce Strategy for ensuring that produce packaging evolves and continues to play an integral role in delivering product choice, quality, affordability, safety, and reducing food waste and environmental impacts.
  • What is upstream innovation process, and how can it help reduce plastic packaging waste?

    Upstream Innovation: A Guide to Packaging Solutions

    Identifies 5 key ingredients that support a successful upstream innovation process, and form the root-cuase solution to plastic packaging waste. Includes the role of LCA.
  • What information do I need to know when desiging eco-responsbile packaging?

    Better Packaging for Better Recycling

    This guide includes information needed for designing eco-responsible packaging.
  • What are the environmental differences between reusable and single-use food containers?

    Parametric Life Cycle Assessment Modeling of Reusable and Single-use restaurant food container systems

    A parametric LCA and cost model was used to analyse customer behavior effects on GHG emissions, primary energy, water use, and cost between primary reusable container and single use containers. Results showed reusable containers tended to have lower impacts across most metrics than comparable single use containers, however the beneficial differences were sensitive to variations to excess customer transportation and at-home container washing practices.


  • What are the key considerations when exploring moving from a multi-material flexible package to a mono-material strucutre?

    Pathways to Mono-Material Flexible Plastic Packaging

    Provides practical information and guidance on the design and manufacturing pathways that enable moving from multi-material flexible plastic packaging to more recyclable mono-material (PE & PP) flexible structures, when possible.

  • How to determine if plastic packaging is considered recyclable?

    Recycle Check: Flexible Plastic Packaging

    Includes a decision tree that helps to determine whether your plastic package is able to be properly sorted and recycled, and clarifies why that is (not) the case.

  • What are PFAS, and how are they different from PPAs?

    Educating on the Differences Between PFAs and PPAs

    This article highlights the differences between polymer processing aids (PPAs), such as fluoropolymers, from PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which traditionally are used as grease-proof coatings in paper food packaging.

  • What are some best practices for transitioning flexible plastics in CPG operations?

    Best Practice: Transitioning Flexible Materials

    This document acts as a guide in the process of transitioning flexible film in CPG operations - including the planning, testing and evaluating needed to ensure the new materials are compatable with existing equipment or if new equipment is required.  It strives to align sustainability goals while meeting product quality and shelf-life requirements.  

Recycled Content

  • What are the key considerations when designing packaging with recycled content?

    Design for Recycled Content Guide

    The Guide provides information on the key considerations around recycled content and how to design packaging that incorporates recycled content in order to drive demand for recycled materials. The Guide shares insights from experienced users of recycled content across the packaging supply chain to illuminate the opportunities and best practices for using recycled content in packaging.
  • Where can I get PCR certification?

    PCR Certification

    APR provides PCR Certification to support a reliable, robust PCR market. Any plastics reclaimer generating PCR pellet or flake can participate in this program to provide customer assurances in the authenticity of their product.

  • Where can I learn more about the challenges of recycled content for the recycling industry?

    The Recycled Material Standard (RMS)

    The RMS is a voluntary, market-based tool to address some of the challenges faced by the recycling industry in incorporating higher amounts of recycled content into packaging.
  • What should be considered regarding the acceptability and use of PCR plastics in food packaging applications?

    Guidelines for using recycled plastics in food packaging: Overview

    These updated guidelines detail common recycling practices, with a focus on mechanical recycling processes as these are considered to represent the greatest potential health concern for food contact applications. They discuss key aspects of the recycling process such as the: limitations of use, source of feedstock (materials to be recycled), efficiency of the recycling process in the removal of chemical contaminants. These guidelines will assist recyclers, manufacturers and sellers of plastic materials in determining the acceptability and use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics in food packaging applications.


  • What are some benefits, challenges and examples of Reuse models?

    Reuse - Rethinking Packaging

    This Guide helps in understanding Reuse models by identifying key benefits, and mapping 69 examples. It includes the evaluation of over 100 initiatives, and interviews with over 50 experts. Descriptions of how different reuse models work, and typical implementation challenges are provided.

  • Is there a portal for sharing waste prevention solutions based on reuse and refill?

    The Reuse Portal

    This is an open collaborative platform providing users access to practical guidance, tools and networks to take action and drive momentum for reuse solutions. The platform is still underdevelopment and will be released in phases during 2023/24.

  • How to design more successful reuable packaging programs?

    Guidance for Reusable Packaging

    Identifies key goals and assumptions for desiging more successful reusable packaging programs. Defines reusable packaging, highlights key questions and design criteria for consideration, and provides examples of best practices.

  • What are the barriers and opportunities for driving reuse/refill in Canada?

    Barriers and Opportunities for Driving Reuse in Canada

    Identifies the barriers to reusable and refillable systems in Canada for consumer packaging, and what policymakers can do to reduce these barriers.
  • How can I help my consumers adopt to reusable packaging?

    How to Help Consumers Adopt Reusable Packaging

    Based on consumer research using over 2000 UK consumers, this report outlines key opportunities to help adopt reusable/refillable packaging solutions, while offering helpful insight into prioritizing reuse model types, and shifting consumer behavior to help drive change to making reusable packaging more mainstream.


  • What are the priority plastic items targeted for elimination in Canada?

    A Roadmap to Strengthen the Management of Single-Use and Disposable Plastics

    This Roadmap seeks to reduce the negative environmental and socio-economic impacts of single-use and disposable plastics by listing priority items to consider for elimination, including select film and flexible packaging used in food and produce sectors, and specific packaging forms such as woven and net produce bags.
  • What are the problematic and unnecessary resins, components and formats identified for eliminated in the US?

    Problematic and Unnecessary Materials Report - USA

    Identifies the proposed 11 problematic and unnecessary resins, components, and formats to be eliminated in order to accelerate a circular economy for plastic packaging in the US.
  • Will elimination option actually solve the packaging pollution problem?

    Why "Elimination" Won't Solve the Packaging Pollution Problem

    Highlights that while some plastic packaging can be eliminated or reduced, most packaging plays the vitally important role of protecting and preserving the efficacy of products and eliminating food waste. And that shortsighted elimination policies will not solve the problem and, in many cases, will result in more environmental harm.


  • How do I know if my packaging is recyclable or not?

    APR Design Guide

    The Guide helps package designers measure each aspect of a package design against industry-accepted criteria to ensure that it is truly recycling compatible
  • What are the key design recommendations for the various packaging types?

    Packaging Design for Recycling: A Global Recommendation for Circular Packaging Design

    This resource considers a holistic view of packaging as essential for sustainable pacakaging development - including delivering on a circular economy and the reduction in the sources of ecological impact on the environment. Design for recycling is part of circular product design and represents an important basis for holistic sustainable assessment.

  • Where can I learn more about setting recycling and recycled content goals for my packaging?

    Walmart Recycling Playbook

    The Walmart Playbook helps companies in setting recyclable and recycled content goals for their packaging.

Food Safety/Quality

  • Where can I learn more about the food safety, quality and regulatory requirements for produce vendors?

    Produce Vendor Operating Standards (VOC) & Guidance

    Loblaw's VOS & Guidance document was created to help support vendors who supply national brand and control brand produce in meeting food safety, quality and regulatory requirements.
  • What should be considered to ensure my food packaging is safe, and potential risks are minimized?

    Packaging Guidelines

    The new IFS Packaging Guideline helps food companies to identify potential risks and ensure their packaging is safe. It is a supporting document with the goal of improving the communication and cooperation between IFS certified companies and their packaging suppliers. Focus is on EU legislation.
  • Where can I learn more about rigid PET containers?

    PET: Frequently Asked Questions

    Answers FAQ regarding PET containers including safety and recycling related questions.

  • What are the environmental benefits of recycled PET versus virgin PET?

    The Environmental Benefits of PET Recycling: LCA Study

    Life cycle analyses have examined energy requirements and environmental impacts of producing both recycled PET (RPET) and new, virgin material (VPET). Results show that the production of RPET pellets has significantly better results for the environment than that of VPET in almost every impact category measured.


  • What are the key issues and questions of concern regarding degradability and biodegradability of plastics?

    Position Paper on Degradable Additives

    PLASTICS Bioplastics Division outlines the key issues and questions of concern in identifying unsubstantiated and misleading product claims arround degradability and biodegradability of plastics.
  • Does Oxo-Degradable plastic packaging support a Circular Economy?

    OXO-Degradable Plastic Packaging is Not a Solution to Plastic Pollution, and Does Note Fit in a Circular Economy

    EMF summaries their position of applying a precautionary principle approach by banning oxo-degradable plastic packaging from the market until more extensive, independent third-party research and testing based on international standards (as used by ISO, CEN and ASTM), clearly confirms sufficient biodegradation of the plastic fragments in different environments, and over a time-scale short enough for particles not to accumulate in ecosystems.


  • What are bio-based plastics, and what role do they play in a plastics circular economy?

    Methodology for the Assessment of Bioplastic Feedstocks

    This study aligns with WWF's vision of no plastics in nature by 2023, by prioritizing the reduction of unnecessary plastics and ensuring the necessary plastics are being reused and recycled. Highlights that the responsible sourcing of bio-based plastics can play a role in infusing new materials into a circular plastics system to address unavoidable material loss and degradation during recycling operations.