Glossary for retailers

Before you begin the reporting process, get up to date on key concepts by consulting the glossary for retailers.

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First supplier

Domiciled or established in Québec, a first supplier is the first to take title, possession or control of a designated printed matter, a product marketed with a designated container or packaging or a short-life container or packaging sold as a product in Québec.

For example, a retailer that imports or distribute a product whose owner is located in Ontario and does not have a place of business in Québec must report the containers, packaging and printed matter it imports or distribute.

Containers and packaging added at the point of sale

Containers and packaging added at the point of sale include all the containers and packaging provided to a consumer to protect or transport a product (e.g. plastic bag). These containers and packaging are provided to the consumer by the point of sale.

Retail outlet

For the purpose of applying the Schedules of Contributions, a retail outlet is the premises or location at which a retailer conducts business activities consisting mainly of retail sales.

These sales are generally made to the public, including certain corporations when their purchases are not made to complete a production or resale process.

If you operate only one retail outlet, you may be exempted from paying a contribution. This outlet must be smaller than 929 m2. Note that a company whose products or services are only sold online are not exempted from payment.

Consult the exemption criteria for further details.

CP&PM sold as products

“CP&PM” are containers, packaging and printed matter. “CP&PM sold as products” refer to all short-life containers and packaging and printed matter ultimately purchased as products by consumers and whose physical and esthetic features are altered following the first uses. In sum, “CP&PM sold as products” are any flexible or rigid material used to contain, protect or wrap a product or paper and other cellulosic fibres, whether or not used as a medium for text or images available for purchase by consumers through a retailer or distributor

For example, aluminum plates that are sold as products to consumers who use them to bake homemade pies. Because they are sold to consumers as containers and also because their physical and esthetic features are altered by use, aluminum pie plates constitute CP&PM sold as products and must be included in the company reports.

Primary packaging

Primary packaging is the packaging that contains the product being sold. It is therefore in direct contact with the product. For example, the tube that contains toothpaste is primary packaging. Primary packaging must be reported.

Secondary packaging

Secondary packaging is the second level of packaging. In a single product unit, it is especially used to provide consumer information. For example, the box that contains the tube of toothpaste is secondary packaging. Secondary packaging also refers to packaging used to group several products into a single unit for purchase. For example, the plastic film used to wrap boxed tubes of toothpaste sold in a three-pack is considered secondary packaging. Secondary packaging sold to consumers must be reported.

Deduction for packaging taken back after delivery

When companies that deliver merchandise take back the packaging used to protect the delivered goods, they may deduct this packaging from the quantities of materials they report. More information on the methodology used to calculate this deduction is available in the Methodology tab in the reporting portal.

Deduction for CP&PM ultimately intended for industrial, commercial and institutional establishments

The containers, packaging and printed matter intended for a final consumer that is an industrial, commercial or institutional establishment are excluded from the calculation to determine the total contribution and therefore do not need to be reported.

Deduction for long-life packaging (five years)

Long-life containers and packaging (i.e. those meant to contain, protect or store products during their service lives) are excluded when they are designed for a service life of at least five years. For example, the box in which a puzzle or board game is sold in or the box in which certain tools are sold in constitute long-life packaging. Note: If the box is wrapped in plastic, this packaging must be reported.

Deduction for containers and packaging subject to another type of extended producer responsibility (EPR) program

If your containers, packaging or printed matter are subject to a deposit system recognized under Québec law or any other recovery and reclamation program based on the principle of extended producer responsibility, they are excluded from the calculation to determine the total contribution. Note that all the containers and packaging included with these products must be reported (e.g. the cardboard packaging for returnable bottles).

For more information on extended producer responsibility, go to RECYC-QUÉBEC dedicated (in French) or read more on the in Québec (in French).

Name

A name is the designation under which a company operates as a corporation, a partnership or an individual.

Brand

Generally speaking, a brand is used by a company to set its products and services apart from others (e.g. a trademark). This definition does not include certification marks.

Distinguishing guise

A distinguishing guise is the unique way an organization wraps or packages a product to set itself apart or distinguish a product from others on the market.

Methodology to facilitate the reporting process

It is important to explain the methodology used to collect or estimate your data as part of the reporting process. In this section, you will find everything you need to develop your own work methodology.

Use the dedicated page in the ECO-D online reporting portal to detail your methodology.

Methodological steps

  • List all the products sold during the reporting year
  • Determine those responsible for each product: – Include all the containers, packaging and printed matter related to your private brand products and those for which you are the first supplier in Québec.

Identify the components of each product for which you are responsible. For example, for a bottle of water sold individually, you must report:
– weight of the bottle including the label
– cap

  • Note that as of the 2018 Schedule of Contributions, the containers, packaging and printed matter sold as products (product CP&PM) are designated materials and must be reported by your company, if applicable.

For example: – aluminium pie plates; – snack, sandwich and freezer bags; – paper and polystyrene plates and glasses.

  • Include all secondary and tertiary packaging that will ultimately end up with the consumer. For example:
    – the plastic film and cardboard tray used to wrap bottles of water sold by the carton.
  • Include the materials added at the point of sale.

– receipts and invoices
– shopping and prescription bags
– meat trays
– gift wrapping, etc.

  • Include all marketing-related printed matter.

– flyers
– catalogues
– inserts
– promotional booklets, etc.

  • List all the containers, packaging and printed matter used to fulfill online orders.
    For example:
    – shipping boxes
    – padded envelopes, etc.

 

  • List the products distributed free of charge at special and promotional events.
  • Indicate the data sources used to complete your report. For example: real unit weight determined manually or provided by the manufacturer, supplier or printer.

Allowable deductions

  • The transport packaging that is not ultimately meant for consumers.
  • Containers, packaging and printed matter recovered after in-home delivery.
  • Returned merchandise that is:

– recalled
– expired
– damaged and cannot be sold to a consumer
– not distributed.

  • All containers, packaging and printed matter used or recovered in-house, unsold or not distributed.
  • All refundable containers. For example: soft drink containers, etc.
  • Containers and packaging meant for a final consumer that is an industrial, commercial or institutional establishment.

Information to have on hand when filling a report online

  • Describe your activities and products and list the number of points of sale or entities in Québec.
  • Mention the changes since the last report.

Explain any considerable variations between the current quantities you are reporting and those included in the last report.

For example:
– Increase or decrease in sales (%)
– launch of new products
– store openings or closures
– acquisition or sale of brands
– reduction in packaging
– implementation of new measures

Reporting the containers, packaging and printed matter you put on the market in Québec each year can be a time-consuming exercise. But the right tools make it easier!

Examples of designated materials to include in your report

Food products / electronics / apparel and sporting goods / hardware / others
Products: To be classified in:

Flyers / inserts

Flyers and inserts printed on newspaper / Other printed matter (if printed on another type of paper)

Gift card packaging

Boxboard and other paper packaging

Shopping bags

HDPE, LDPE shopping bags and others

Sales slips

Other printed matter

Boxes and packaging for online orders

Corrugated cardboard and other printed matter

Packaging added at the point of sale 

PET containers / Expanded polystyrene – food packaging / Non-expanded polystyrene / Kraft wrapping paper

Hassle-free reporting

Examples of containers, packaging and printed matter made up of several materials subject to a fee

Some containers, packaging and printed matter raise a few questions. In what material class should I report the bottlecap, label or lid? A picture is worth a thousand words!

Important note:

  • The bottom of the frozen concentrate beverages containers must be reported in the weight of the main container under « Paper laminants » category, even if in fact it is made of steel. Therefore, you should weigh the entire container, including the bottom.

Important note:

  • The bottom of the frozen concentrate beverages containers must be reported in the weight of the main container under « Paper laminants » category, even if in fact it is made of steel. Therefore, you should weigh the entire container, including the bottom.

Important note:

  • 1 Check the material of the cap carefully. If the cap is made of steel, include it in the Other steel containers category. If the cap is made of aluminum, include it in the “Other aluminum containers and packaging” category.
  • The label must be included in the weight of the main packaging and thus reported in the “Coloured glass” category, even if it is not made of coloured glass.

Important note:

  • The label must be included in the weight of the main packaging and thus reported in the «Paper laminants» category, even if it is not made of «Paper laminants».
  • The packaging includes a plastic film that does not need to be separated. Report the entire weight of the packaging in the «Paper laminants» category, regardless of the material of which the film is made. However, should the plastic outweigh the paper, the entire weight of the packaging must be reported in the « Plastic laminants » category.

Important note:

  • Since the adoption of the 2018 Schedule of Contributions, clothes hangers sold as products must now be reported as short-life containers and packaging sold as products. Click here for more information.
  • For retailers (e.g. clothing retailers and dry cleaners) that use hangers to present their products and ultimately provide them to consumers as part of the sale, clothes hangers are considered packaging.

  • Some clothes hangers are made of polystyrene (no.6 plastic). In this case, report the weight of the hangers in the “Non-expanded polystyrene” category

Important note:

  • 1 The label must be included in the weight of the main packaging and thus reported in the “PET bottles” category, even if it is not made of PET.

  • 2 Companies must check the code and symbol of the plastic container or packaging to accurately classify it.

  • This type of container (hand soap, dish soap) is usually classified as “PET bottles” when it is made of no.1 plastic.

Important note:

  • 1 The label must be included in the weight of the main packaging and thus reported in the “PET containers” category, even if it is not made of PET.

  • 2 If the product is made of no.6 plastic, report the container in the “Non-expanded polystyrene” category. If the product is made of no.7 plastic, report the container in the “PVC, polylactic acid (PLA) and other degradable plastics” category.

Important note:

  • 1 The label must be included in the weight of the main packaging and thus reported in the “PET bottles” category, even if it is not made of PET.

Important note:

  • For all the packaging options pictured here, the labels must be included in the same category as the main packaging, even if they are made of a different material.
  • 1 These packaging options are made of flexible plastic and must therefore be reported in the “PVC, polylactic acid (PLA) and other degradable plastics” category.
  • Similar packaging made of rigid plastic may be reported in the “Other plastics, polymers and polyurethane” category.
  • 2 Check the plastic code on the packaging and report the material in the corresponding category:
    • No.1: PET container
    • No.2, 5 and 7: Other plastics, polymers and polyurethane
    • No.6: Non-expanded polystyrene
    • No.7: PVC, polylactic acid (PLA) and other degradable plastics

Important note: 

  • 1 The label and adhesive tape must be included in the weight of the main packaging in the corrugated cardboard category, even if they are not made of corrugated cardboard.

Important note :

  • 1 In some cases, food packaging may be black no.6 plastic containers with clear lids. They must be reported in the “Non-expanded polystyrene” category.
  • Food packaging may also be no.7 plastic containers. They must be reported in the “PVC, polylactic acid (PLA) and other degradable plastics” category.
  • Refer to the code and symbol under the container or packaging to select the right material category.

Important note:

  • 1 If they are made of no.3 or no.7 plastic, these packaging options may be reported in the “PVC, polylactic acid (PLA) and other degradable plastics” category.

Important note : 

  • 1 This particular bottle is opaque or non-translucent green or blue PET plastic and must be reported in the “Other plastics, polymers and polyurethane” category.

  • 2 The label must be included in the weight of the main packaging in the ” Other plastics, polymers and polyurethane” category, even if it is not made of other plastics.

Important note:

  • 1 The label and handle must be included in the weight of the main packaging in the “other plastics, polymers and polyurethane” category, even if they are not made of other plastics, polymers or polyurethane.

Important note:

  • 1 The adhesive tape must be included in the weight of the main packaging in the corrugated cardboard” category, even if it is not made of corrugated cardboard.

Important note : 

  • 1 The label must be included in the weight of the main packaging in the “Plastic laminants” category, even if it is not a plastic laminants.

Common errors by retailers

The reports filed by retailers often contain the same errors. Here are some tips and tricks to help you avoid them!

Making keying and calculation errors

Examples and explanations Tips
  • Calculation errors
  • Conversion errors (e.g. between litres, kilograms, pounds, etc.)
  • Calculation errors in the number of units (e.g. for multipacks)
  • Exclusion or double counting of subtotals

Entry of incorrect or inexact data or data with the decimal in the wrong position

  • Have an external third party, the in-house validation team or an individual other than the representative filling in the report confirm the data.
  • Lock the cells with formulas in your Excel file.
  • Filter similar products to identify variations in weights to quickly identify inadvertent errors (e.g. the addition of a decimal point or comma).
  • Update the weights of the containers, packaging and printed matter on a regular basis (every three to four years).
  • Pay particular attention to multipacks, which often create calculation errors.

For example, if a company sells a pack of 24 bottles of water in a cardboard box ultimately intended for the consumers, it must report the box and 24 times the weight of the plastic bottle. The error is much more common when entering data for boxes of multipacks. For example, when a box contains four packs of six bottles wrapped in plastic, 1 cardboard box (if intended for the consumers), 4 overpack films and 24 bottles must be reported.

Subtracting ineligible deductions

Examples and explanations Tips
  • Deductions for packaging that is not intended for the consumer’s place of residence
  • Deductions that are not documented or supported by quantitative data
  • Obtain verifiable quantitative data to support the deductions (sales reports, third-party studies, etc.). These data must be available for verification upon request.
  • Ensure that all deductions are allowed under the rules (sections 3.3. and 3.6) for the materials that are eligible for a deduction and for which you have adequate justification.
  • Before you invest resources to develop a methodology or obtain data to calculate a deduction, contact ÉEQ to validate your approach.

Not reporting the designated materials for imported products for which you are the first supplier.

Examples and explanations Tips
  • Companies must report the containers, packaging and printed matter of the brands they own or for which they are the first supplier in Québec
  • The first supplier is the first to take the titles, possession or control of a designated printed matter or a product whose container or packaging is designated.
  • When a company distributes products sold under a brand owned by another company with a business unit in Québec, it is not the first supplier.
  • List all your suppliers.
  • Remove all the suppliers with an address in Québec from the list.
  • Consult the list of companies expected to report in the reporting history section of the ECO-D online reporting system. If the company that manufactures the brand you distribute is listed, you are not obligated to report the materials generated by these products.
  • When in doubt, go to the Registraire des entreprises du Québec (www.registreentreprises.gouv.qc.ca) or contact ÉEQ’s Company Services team to determine a company’s status.

Not compiling the materials added at the point of sale

Examples and explanations Tips
  • Retailers and restaurants must include the supplies added at their points of sale (e.g. shopping bags, cash register receipts in their reports.
  • In the case of companies operated as franchise, chain, banner or any similar affiliation, group of companies or establishments, the franchisor or owner of the group is responsible for reporting the materials.
  • If the franchisor doesn’t own a place of business in Québec, it is the franchisee who is responsible to report for the materials.
  • Check the report on the quantities of containers or register rolls purchased, as well as their weight and corresponding materials (this information is often provided by suppliers).
  • When in doubt, ask the suppliers for information on the material types.
  • Deduct the supplies that are not provided to customers (e.g. expired products).

Not reporting materials from multipack containers and packaging or reporting materials in the wrong category

Examples and explanations Tips
  • Each detachable packaging component must be reported and categorized.
  • The number of units for each packaging component may vary.
  • Read the Materials Guide.
  • Ask the suppliers, since they often know what types of materials you use.
  • When in doubt, contact ÉEQ’s Company Services team for information on the material types.
  • Consult the Materials Guide to categorize your materials.

Not reporting advertising material

Examples and explanations Tips
  • Companies must report the advertising material intended for consumers that includes a logo or distinguishing guise, whether or not they printed the material (e.g. distribution through Publisac or by mail).
  • Advertisements printed in newspapers and magazines do not need to be reported, since they are the responsibility of the editors.
  • Ask your printer for information on the type of paper and the quantities purchased.
  • When in doubt, contact ÉEQ’s Company Services team.
  • Deduct the advertising material you keep and display in your establishments.
  • Do not report B2B advertising material.
  • Deduct the coupons taken in stores or returned by consumers.

Not reporting the sales packaging generated through e-commerce

Examples and explanations Tips
  • When a consumer in Québec places an online order, you must report the containers, packaging and printed matter related to the product and the packaging used to ship the product (when it is not the product’s own packaging).
  • You must report the cardboard boxes and shipping envelopes intended for consumers.
  • Obtain data on consumer sales via your online platform.
  • Weigh the shipping material you typically use to determine the quantities generated based on the quantities used.

Not reporting the materials included with products covered by other regulations (e.g. box for deposit cans)

Examples and explanations Tips

When you sell a container subject to another regulation, you must include all secondary packaging (if applicable), since it is generally not targeted by other regulations.

  • RETURNABLE CONTAINERS: The secondary packaging included with returnable containers is subject to the compensation plan (e.g. six-pack rings).
  • PAINT, OIL and ANTIFREEZE: Secondary containers are subject to the compensation plan (e.g. cardboard boxes used to ship several containers if ultimately intended for Québec consumers).
  • COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS, BATTERIES AND ELECTRONICS: Their containers and packaging are subject to the compensation plan.

Not subtracting supplies used in house or discarded (e.g. trays with expired meat)

Examples and explanations Tips

As part of their operations, retailers may experience losses of products packaged on site—particularly meats, fruits and vegetables and bakery products—when expiry dates pass. These products, which cannot be sold, are discarded with their packaging, which should be excluded from the quantities reported.

In addition, retailers sometimes use packaging supplies within their stores (e.g. a retailer that uses plastic film to protect certain merchandise at the end of the day). These supplies, which are not provided to consumers, should also be excluded from the quantities reported.

  • When determining the quantities of packaging added to purchases at a point of sale, deduct the packaging that is not provided to consumers when the packaging is used:
    • for expired products
    • within the store
  • When possible, use each department’s loss reports to determine the share of packaging that was not provided to consumers.
  • Accurately identify the packaging used only within the store and excluded it from the calculations.

You generate less than 15 TM of designated materials or your revenue is in the $1M and $2M range?