• Food products

    One bite at a time

    Food products are probably the item for which packaging plays the most obvious role. It allows products to be offered in a range of quantities, ensures safety and often extends the life of perishable foods. Eco-responsible choices include buying only the quantity needed to ensure there’s no waste, especially in the case of perishable foods, and choosing products with packaging that will conserve food for a longer period of time. When it comes to non-perishable foods, however, large sizes are best, as less packaging is used overall.

  • Health and beauty

    Little jars and larger ones

    Whether for medication or various types of creams, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals packaging performs many functions, such as marketing products in various quantities, facilitating product use, allowing the application of a safety seal and displaying information. Making eco-responsible choices can be as simple as buying a refill for your favourite facial cream or selecting products with recyclable packaging. Why not add a basket in the bathroom, kitchen or office to collect recyclable materials for later transfer to the recycling bin? Doing so will give a second life to your shampoo bottle, toothpaste tube and even facial cream jar.

    Small medication containers are usually recyclable, but they must be emptied first. Instead of throwing expired medications in the garbage where they could find their way to water sources, bring them to an ecocentre or a drugstore. These professionals know how to properly dispose of such products.

  • Household products

    Keep the environment in mind when cleaning your home

    Just like your other daily purchases, you can make eco-responsible choices when selecting household products. For example, reach for refills when you need products sold in spray bottles. Check that the packaging will allow you to use all of its contents and exact doses for each purpose so you can avoid product loss and waste. Concentrated products that contain less water, like laundry detergent, are often sold in smaller containers.


At the store, choose products with eco-responsible packaging. Don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bags! Be sure to clean the bags from time to time and avoid buying too many of them, as their production consumes significant resources and energy. If you’ve forgotten them home, plastic bags provided at the cash register may be later reused to collect kitchen waste or animal excrement, or bagged together and placed in the recycling bin.


If you know you can use up all the product, choose larger sizes instead of single-serving containers. That way, you will reduce the quantity of packaging placed in the recycling bin. In some cases like yogurt, the larger size container is recyclable, while the single-serving is not necessarily so.
Of course, it’s always better to buy a smaller size that meets your needs if the extra product in a large one will end up as waste. You may also consider freezing that extra product to extend its life.

A second life

Many items you use every day are made with recycled materials. The containers, packaging and printed matter you place in your recycling bin are collected, sorted and processed by materials recyclers. Manufacturers then use the “new” materials to make other packaging, printed matter and sometimes whole new products such as clothing, furniture or construction materials.

Did you know that companies finance materials recovery?

In Quebec, companies who market containers, packaging and printed matter (which Quebecers eventually place in their recycling bins) finance the municipal services that collect recyclable materials from homes and public places.