Bimbo bumps off plastic tags

Bread maker Bimbo Canada is eliminating plastic bread tags.

Canada’s oldest and largest commercial bakery is moving to compostable, cardboard bread bag clips on all bread products. Beginning immediately, the transition will be complete June 2022.

The change in tags on its products, including Dempster’s, Villaggio, POM, Bon Matin, Ben’s, and Stonemill, will reduce the company’s single-use plastic by approximately 200 metric tonnes annually, it said in a statement.
Bimbo Canada is using compostable cardboard clips from KLR Systems on its bread bags. (CNW Group/Bimbo Canada)

Bimbo Canada is working with KLR Systems, a Quebec-based company. Last year, KLR received a Food Innovation Award from the Quebec Food Processing Council for the cardboard bread tag innovation. They have been tested over repeated use cycles at room, refrigerator and freezer temperatures to ensure they keep products fresh.

Biodegradable in 84 days

The tags are made from 100% recycled cardboard and are compostable in municipal systems across Canada that have curbside organics pickup or local drop-off. They biodegrade in 84 days. 

For areas without municipal composting programs, consumers are encouraged to place the clips inside a larger paper-based product in their recycling bin to aid in the sorting process.

The clips have been certified by the Compost Manufacturing Alliance and have also been certified compostable in municipal settings by BNQ (Bureau de normalisation du Québec), a member of the National Standards System (NSS).

“We developed this product knowing some small plastics, like bread tags, cannot always be recycled,” said Audrey Gagnon, general manager of KLR Systems.

Bimbo Canada says the initiative brings it a step closer to achieving its 2025 sustainability goal of having 100% of its packaging support a circular economy through being recyclable, biodegradable or compostable. Last year, the company joined the Canada Plastics Pact.

“It’s important we lead change and be responsible stewards of the environment, and the communities that we live and work in, by delivering results,” said Joe McCarthy, president of Bimbo Canada. “All changes, big or small, make an impact.” 

Bimbo Canada is Canada’s largest bakery, operating for more than 100 years. It produces fresh packaged breads and snacks with more than 1,000 products across 18 brands. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Grupo Bimbo.