Canada united in the achievement of zero waste, now and for future generations

Product Design & Packaging Working Group

Adoption of circular economy thinking in design facilitates the optimization of material inputs and the reduction of waste during the use, pre- and post-use phases of a product or package’s lifecycle. Design principles that reduce and eliminate the waste from new and existing products include the use of renewable resources or by-products as opposed to virgin, non-renewable materials; light weighting of goods and packaging including food cans and glass and plastic bottles; the use of re-usable packaging (primary and secondary); bulk dispensing of consumables and design for disassembly which supports re-use and re-manufacture.

For the full potential of these approaches to be realized consideration must also be given to the processes which support the production, distribution, consumption and eventual disposal of products and materials. Hence, the challenge of designing out waste is not limited only to designers but rather extend to include actors throughout the value chain and cross-sectors; engineers, manufacturing plant managers, retailers, procurement and contract managers and so on. To this end, the Council’s Product Design and Packaging Working Group is targeting waste generation through initiatives that encourage collaborative action across sectors with the potential to influence product design and packaging; and which support knowledge sharing and the promotion of best practice innovations.

Initiatives to date include the design portfolio Celebrating Canadian design for waste prevention and systems-thinking, where an external review panel vets products and packaging that have excelled in designing out waste. In 2015 – 2016, the focus is on clarifying the murky field of compostable products and packaging. White papers and webinars help clarify terms, best practices and more.


    • Alan Blake, Executive Director, PAC NEXT (Co-lead)
    • Susanna Carson, CEO, BSI Biodegradable Solutions (Co-lead)
    • Allen Jensen, Assistant Project Engineer, Solid Waste Services, Metro Vancouver
    • Laurie Lewis, Diversion Planning Coordinator, Halifax Regional Municipality
    • Colin Isaacs, CIAL Group
    • Julian Radlein, SymbiAudit Inc.
    • Isaul Lopez, Sales and Business Development - Biopolymers, BASF
    • Jeanette Hanna, Market Development - Biopolymers, BASF


Designing For Compostability in Canada Series

 Can I compost that? A Materials and Acceptance Guide

 Can I compost that? Certification and Acceptance

 Designing For Compostability Infographic

Projects and Events

Compostable Products and Packaging Demystified - Webinar 1: Can I Compost That? Products and Materials Demystified, October 6, 2015

Compostable Products and Packaging Demystified - Webinar 2: Design for Compostability: Success Stories within the Value Chain, December 8, 2015

 Design Portfolio