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Campbell River fish packaging company wins prestigious award for cleantech project

Browns Bay awarded $300,000 for solution to traditional packaging at 2022 Ignite Awards
The 2022 Ignite award for Cleantech/Aquaculture/Advanced Materials, was presented by Innovate BC to Campbell River company Brown’s Bay Packaging for their efforts to create an alternative to traditional plastic wrapping. (Photo courtesy of Innovate BC)

Innovate BC has announced eight recipients of the 2022 Ignite Awards for game-changing innovations and one happens to be based out of Campbell River.

Brown’s Bay Packaging, which traces its roots in the community from 1989, has garnered a grant of $300,000 for their creative efforts to improve sustainability.

Based on their collaborations with Hossein Kazemian, an analytical and material chemist from the University of Northern British Colombia, the company has released provisional formulations for a renewable and fully bio-gradable hybrid packing solution to replace traditional plastic.

Innovate BC said in a news release Oct. 17 that the project showed promising commercial and technical viability.

“The opportunity afforded by Innovate BC and this award is displayed in our commitment to the planet and the leaps and bounds we have already made,” said Jesse Knight, director of business development and sustainability at Browns Bay Packaging.

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Knight points out that they are already in the trenches, putting forth a steadfast approach to establishing a proper footing in world of plastics as they strive to be market ready within three short years.

This includes hiring several post-doctorate and graduate students and establishing a bio-polymer research lab at UNBC, as well as developing a prototype that Knight said is ready for manufacturing.

“…we are keen to continually improve the polymer combinations providing cost efficiency with novel formulations and advancements to find a sustainable solution for all EPS Styrofoam use.”

It was a sustainability project that blew the selection committee, quite literally out of the water.

“It’s so thrilling to see these incredible innovations in natural resources and applied sciences being developed right here in British Columbia,” said Innovate BC CEO Raghwa Gopal.

Innovate BC, which began in the late 1970s and adapted its current name in 2018, is a provincial Crown corporation. The Ignite awards are ones which select research projects in the fields of natural resources and applied sciences. To date, it has funded 41 projects totalling $10.7 million.

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