Éco Entreprises Québec cautions against compostable and biodegradable plastic packaging

Montreal, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 – Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) is today publishing a report produced jointly with consulting firm SOLINOV, specializing in environment and organic waste management. The report unveils the results of a several months-long research and analysis process to present a situational report on the use and end-of-life impact of compostable and biodegradable plastic packaging and the environmental challenges caused by theseWe particularly note that a large proportion of this packaging ends up in landfills since the residual materials management systems in place are not able to process it. 

“Compostable and biodegradable plastic packaging is very hard to tell apart from other plastics during sorting, both in homes and in industrial composting installations; in addition, those new materials often do not break down fast enough or completely”, says Marie-Hélène Gravel, Eng., M. Eng., Project lead at SOLINOV and co-author of the report.  

For 10 years now, Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) has guided businesses that finance curbside recycling in their ecodesign packaging initiatives. Geneviève Dionne, Director, Ecodesign and Circular Economy at ÉEQ, is well placed to know the increasingly frequent questions companies have about so-called compostable or biodegradable packaging as part of that guidance and support work. Indeed, the labels “biodegradable” and “compostable” on packaging are an environmental claim made by the companies themselves, one that is not verified by an independent third party (except if the package is certified*). Therefore, it’s fair to question the actual biodegradability or compostability of a packaging identified as such by its manufacturer. 

The complete report is available here: ecoconception.eeq.ca/en-ca/reportpackaging     


Ecodesign as a solution for companies 

“In order to make better packaging choices, it is important to consider the product that packaging is meant to hold and protect. The ecodesign approach takes into account the life cycle of both the packaging and the product, from its procurement to the end of its useful life, and on a systemic level. Through ecodesign, we identify improvement leads that allow us to steer clear of inadequate solutions, like compostable plastic packaging”, says Geneviève Dionne. 

Please note that all such packaging are subject to government regulations and must be reported to ÉEQ by companies that place them on the Quebec market. As part of the curbside recycling system modernization process, ÉEQ is currently working on eco-modulating its Schedule of Contributions to allocate financial incentives to companies that choose to get on the path to circular economy through ecodesign. 

Find out more about packaging ecodesign: ecoconception.eeq.ca/en-ca   



Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) is a private non-profit organization that represents companies who market containers, packaging and printed matter in Quebec in their responsibility to finance the costs of effective and efficient municipal curbside recycling services.   

As an expert, ÉEQ optimizes the curbside recycling value chain and implements innovative approaches with a view to sustainable development and circular economy. 



SOLINOV is a consulting firm specializing in waste management and provides a full range of services, from collection and transportation to processing and marketing. SOLINOV sets itself apart through its specialized knowledge of biological treatment and organic waste recycling, as well as through know-how and expertise acquired over the course of 30 years in the field. 


*Although certification means that a package is compostable, that compostability has been lab tested under specific, controlled conditions, which are different from conditions in the field. 



Source: Éco Entreprises Québec 

Contact and requests for interviews: Anne-Marie Caron anne-marie@canide.co ;514 442-9775