Sobeys Plastic Waste Challenge

IGNITE Atlantic, Divert NS and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) have teamed up with Sobeys Inc. to present the Plastic Waste Challenge.

We are looking for innovative solutions to non-recyclable food packaging.

Think you have an idea? Learn more below!


The food industry relies upon plastic and Styrofoam to preserve quality and freshness, to safely transport goods locally and globally, and to deliver the convenience that consumers demand. Increasingly though, the use of plastic food packaging is coming under environmental and regulatory pressures making it unsustainable in the long run. Finding alternative food packaging that is not made of plastic presents many challenges but it is also an opportunity for innovative business solutions. This is the basis for this industry challenge!

Sobeys Inc. is a leader in addressing this critical problem. It was the first national grocery retailer to eliminate single-use plastic grocery bags from check-out counters across all Sobeys family banner stores in May 2021. This goal alone eliminated 800 million plastic bags from circulation annually.

Sobeys is continuing its commitment to reduce or eliminate the use of plastics in its stores by looking for a viable and sustainable commercial solution for in-store wrapped meat and seafood packaging.

Sobeys is undertaking this challenge in partnership with IGNITE Atlantic, Divert NS, and ACOA.

The Challenge

"Find an alternative for the fish, meat and produce packaging for use in Sobeys’ stores, starting with a pilot in Atlantic Canada."

The main objective is to find a commercially viable packaging alternative solution for in-store wrapped seafood, meat, and in some cases, produce, that will be an alternative to the current packaging which includes a Styrofoam tray, a moisture pad, and a plastic wrap.

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The Plastic Waste Challenge will find an alternative product for fish and meat packaging.

The goal is to replace the current product, which is non-recyclable.

The winner will have an opportunity to engage in discussions with Sobeys regarding a potential pilot in Nova Scotia.

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This Challenge is open to legal residents of all provinces in Canada except Quebec.
Eligible applicants must be in one of the following categories:

  • Small or medium-sized business
  • For profit organization
  • Not-for-profit organization
  • Indigenous organization or group
  • Post-secondary or academic institution
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How to Apply

All applicants must submit a letter of intent by March 31, 2022 at 11:59pm AST.

Applicants can use the Letter of Intent Guideline and submit their applications here.

To qualify for the pitch competition, applicants may be asked to present further information about their proposed solution.

The Process

Do you have an idea for sustainable food packaging? We want to hear from you!

Submit a letter of intent outlining your recyclable and environmentally sustainable solution for fish and meat packaging. If selected, your team will have three months to develop a prototype and prepare a pitch presentation. On May 25, you will present your solution to a panel of partnership judges.

Applicant Guide (English)Guide du Candidat (Français)Letter of Intent GuidelineApply Now!

Challenge Timeline

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