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Introducing new language for environmentally preferable packaging

In the context of the commitments Canada has made under the Ocean Plastics Charter and in the Greening Government Strategy, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has been working actively with a range of stakeholders to reduce single-use plastics and build a more circular economy.

As such, PSPC is introducing new language in solicitation and contractual documents to eliminate the unnecessary use of single-use plastics in government operations, and to promote the use of sustainable plastics.

Standard language for environmentally preferable packaging

The Standard language for environmentally preferable packaging (policy notification [PN]-158) was created with the goal of encouraging suppliers to use packaging that is reusable, returnable or recyclable, to reduce plastic waste in the procurement of goods by PSPC.

Effective immediately, contracting authorities must include standard language in solicitation and contract documents requiring or encouraging environmentally preferable packaging for all goods procurements that come in packaging. This means:

  • all packaging material must be reusable, returnable or recyclable
  • the packaging must eliminate or minimize single-use plastics
  • the contractor must ensure that their recyclable packaging is accepted at the local recycling facilities of the delivery location(s) and must verify with the contracting authority whether their reusable packaging can be reused by the end user
  • the contractor must take back any packaging that cannot be recycled or reused by the end user at no additional cost to Canada

Exceptions apply when:

  • the goods require specialized packaging
  • the goods are delivered to remote areas with limited recycling options
  • including a requirement for environmentally preferable packaging presents a significant barrier to supplier participation, persons with disabilities, or poses a risk to health, safety and national security

To receive a copy of PN-158, contact

What does this mean for businesses?

It is important to read the solicitation and contract documents carefully to determine what is required for individual procurements. The information you will be required to submit as part of the bid, offer, arrangement or contract documentation may vary depending on the types of goods you are providing.

Learn more

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