Investing in a Healthy Economy That Works for Everyone
February 28, 2023
Federal investment of $8.2 million to help three food packaging companies scale-up, reduce plastic waste and create over 120 jobs
February 28, 2023 - Guelph, Ontario
Ontario manufacturers are leading the charge in the growing market for green products. The work they are doing to remove plastic waste is directly in line with Canadian’s priorities for a cleaner, healthier environment. The investments our government is making to support these small- and medium-sized businesses will help them develop innovative ways to produce sustainable packaging and move Canada towards a zero plastic waste future.
Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), and Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, visited A Friendlier Company Inc. in Guelph where they announced an investment of over $8.2 million for three innovative food packaging companies to develop and scale green, Canadian-made packaging solutions and products, and create over 120 jobs across southern Ontario.
A Friendlier Company Inc. (Friendlier) is a women-led sustainable food packaging solution provider that operates across southern Ontario. Since its launch, Friendlier has reused over 400,000 food containers, diverting 23 tons of waste and reducing over 67 tons of carbon emissions. With this $500,000-Government of Canada investment, Friendlier will standardize its reusable takeout packaging system through a network of businesses across Canada. As a result, the company will accelerate its growth and support a circular economy, by cleaning and reusing the same high-quality packaging up to 100 times. It will also create 10 jobs.
Unified Flex Packaging Technologies (UFPT) designs, manufactures and assembles custom packaging machines primarily for the food and beverage sector. With a $4-million Government of Canada investment, the company will enhance production capacity at its new Woodstock facility, to increase manufacturing of its recyclable films used for food packaging and pouches. As a result, the company will contribute to saving over 87,000 lbs. of plastic waste and decrease nearly 470 tons of GHG emissions per year, as well as improve product efficiencies and create over 60 jobs.
Omnia Packaging is a one-stop provider for sustainable and innovative food packaging in Canada. This over $3.7- million Government of Canada investment will help the Guelph-based company purchase new equipment to produce unique, Canadian-made, 100 percent compostable and recyclable paper trays and 100 percent recyclable plastic trays for the food packaging industry. As a result, this investment will support leading companies reduce plastic waste and create 50 jobs.
The work these companies are doing will go a long way towards reducing plastic waste and building a strong, economy for Ontario and all of Canada.
“Canadians have been clear – they want to grow their local economy and ensure a clean environment for future generations. These three transformative companies are doing just that, paving the way for Canadian businesses to meet the demand for green products that reduce plastic waste. Our government is ready to support organizations like these so we can work together to create middle class jobs and build an economy that works for everyone.”
- The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“Plastic pollution is a growing problem globally, affecting both the economy and the environment. That is why I am pleased to see today how these three businesses, including two based in Guelph, are developing innovative, environmentally conscious packaging products and solutions to help reduce single-use plastic use and create good jobs for the future.”
- Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph
"Our mission at Friendlier is to simplify the world's transition away from single-use packaging, and this funding will allow us to reach significant milestones towards that goal. The funding will allow us to accelerate our growth across the country; creating jobs and reducing waste through a circular supply chain in Canada. We believe Canada should be at the forefront of the transition away from single-use packaging, and this funding will help us continue to lead the movement towards a circular economy in packaging."
- Kayli Dale, CEO and Co-Founder, A Friendlier Company
“Unified Flex Packaging Technologies is excited about our partnership with FedDev Ontario. This funding will help train and develop highly skilled teams specializing in automation and manufacturing. By investing in lean manufacturing processes, we will reduce costs and improve our global competitiveness to deliver world-class packaging solutions.”
- Al Aman, VP Business Development, Unified Flex Packaging Technologies
“With this $3.7-million investment, FedDev Ontario is boosting the project, allowing Omnia to purchase and operate the equipment earlier, creating jobs earlier than scheduled. This will also allow Omnia Packaging to introduce 100 percent sustainable packaging in the market for the harvest season of 2023 instead of 2024.”
- Paulo Sunino, CEO, Omnia Packaging
Every year, Canadians throw away three million tons of plastic waste, only nine percent of which is recycled, meaning the vast majority of plastics end up in landfills. In 2016, about 29,000 tons found their way into our natural environment.
By improving the management of plastic waste and investing in innovative solutions, Canada can reduce carbon emissions by 1.8 megatons annually, generate billions of dollars in revenue, and create approximately 42,000 jobs by 2030.
On June 22, 2022, the Government of Canada published the final Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations. Over the next decade, it is estimated that these regulations will eliminate over 1.3 million tons of hard-to-recycle plastic waste and more than 22,000 tons of plastic pollution, which is equivalent to over a million garbage bags full of litter.
Established in 2019, A Friendlier Company Inc. (Friendlier) is located in Guelph and works with leading brands in the food service industry, including The Compass Group Canada, Loblaws Companies, and a number of large corporate offices and universities, to help drive the growth of reusable takeout food packaging and replace single-use plastics.
Established in 2008, Unified Flex Packaging Technologies designs and manufactures flexible packaging systems for liquid, nutraceutical, snack food, produce, protein, industrial product, bakery, and confectionery applications for companies. The company has facilities in Cambridge and Woodstock.
Established in September 2021, Omnia Packaging (Omnia), located in Guelph, is a newly created subsidiary of Italy-based Sunino Group (Gruppo Sunino SPA). Sunino Group operates across several industries, one of which is the manufacturing of plastic packaging molding products for the food sector.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $450 million in clean technology and green initiatives projects; clean technology aspects of these projects represent over $250 million.
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario