Packaging and Bag Laws

Packaging and bags are commonly used products in our daily lives, and they are currently receiving increased attention from governments. In Canada and Quebec, there are several serious regulations regarding packaging to regulate their use and encourage the use of raw or compostable materials. Have you heard about these packaging laws?

How can Quebec’s Bill 96 influence your packaging?

Also known as the “Charter of the French Language,” Bill 96 was passed by the Quebec National Assembly in 2021. Its goal is to protect and promote the French language throughout the province. But what does French have to do with packaging?

Does your trademark contain English words? If so, you may need to change what is displayed on your packaging. These new regulations affect your company’s communications, contracts, and even your public displays! It’s essential for your organization to consider these changes to avoid any violations.

Bill 96 proposes several measures, including:

  • The requirement for businesses to primarily communicate in French with their employees and the public, under penalty of fines.
  • It is still permitted to use a trademark written solely in a language other than French when no French version of that trademark is found in the Canadian registry, and when the generic or slogan is displayed in French. However, French must be predominant in the display.
  • The obligation that consumers be served in French. For businesses dealing with another audience, they will also need to communicate with them in French.

What are the impacts on product packaging?

If your trademark is in French, this change won’t affect you. If your company has an English name and is only registered in English, you also don’t need to worry. However, if your company’s name is also registered in French, the French version must also be displayed on the packaging.

For example, if your company’s name is CAKE and is registered in French (Gâteau), you will be required to display this name on your packaging in the same size or larger. The same applies if your trademark is not registered!

Canadian Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

What about environmental regulations regarding packaging? To protect the planet, the federal government has established regulations to regulate and limit the use of pollutants. The Canadian Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) directly affects product packaging and bags!

In an effort to reduce the amount of packaging waste produced, businesses must adhere to environmental labeling standards by indicating the amount of recyclable material used and recycling instructions for their packaging.

This law also prohibits the use of certain hazardous substances in packaging, such as lead and mercury, as well as other heavy metals.

These measures aim to encourage companies to use clean materials and promote the reuse of their packaging. By the way, using reusable bags for your business is an environmentally friendly way to reduce your environmental impact!

In Summary

There are several other regulations that can influence your packaging decisions. If you have questions about eco-friendly options among personalized bags, don’t hesitate to contact our packaging experts!

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