Since the beginning of the health crisis, ÉEQ carried out analyses of the impact of COVID-19 on the recycling industry, on packaging ecodesign and on changes in consumer behaviour. In these challenging times and considering our mission, it was essential for us to make proposals aimed at achieving ambitious environmental goals for recovery and a green and circular growth of Québec’s economy.
Firstly, major investments were announced as part of the last two budgets by the Legault government for the management of residual materials. They are paving the way for our recommendations.
We also have high hopes for a successful modernization of curbside recycling, a project announced by Minister Charette last February 11. The project places companies, who produce and market containers, packaging and printed matter at the heart of the system, in partnership with municipalities. Diagnostics already started as part of the modernization process will prioritize investments to be deployed in recycling infrastructures.
The circular economy for recyclable materials is within reach
The recovery phase is an opportunity for Québec to develop the circularity of its resources into true economic leverage. Our proposals* aim to do just that, specifically by:
Supporting the use of eco-designed packaging and the development of new recycling technologies by:
- Defining guidelines for effective recyclability, which takes into account sorting infrastructures.
- Ensuring the traceability of recycled materials.
- Backing companies that invest in the transition towards eco-designed packaging made from recycled and/or recyclable materials in order to support eco-modulation efforts and financing charges for curbside recycling.
- Assisting innovative companies that facilitate the recyclability of such materials, like Loop Industries, Pyrowave, Polystyvert, etc.
Applying to companies who are not established in Québec the same obligations as those who are present in Québec
Indeed, electronic commerce businesses do not generally charge import duties or taxes to their Québec clients and are not legally obligated to finance curbside recycling of recyclable materials.
Prioritizing the development of local and neighbouring markets for recycled materials
As worldwide competition for raw materials intensifies, garbage prevention, recycling promotion and an increased use of secondary raw materials all contribute to reducing dependency.
Requiring government prime contractors to include responsible procurement criteria
- Integrate responsible procurement criteria that incorporate eco-materials and ecodesign characteristics for government prime contractors.
- Change legislation, including the definition of the term “residual materials”, in the Environment Quality Act in order to foster the emergence of eco-materials and facilitate their use.
Needless to say, ÉEQ offers its full cooperation both to the government and to partners of the recovery and recycling system in order to make the recovery process for Québec’s economy a true opportunity for implementing a sustainable circular economy for curbside recycling materials.
President and CEO
*The document entitled Proposals to boost the circularity of Québec’s economy details the preferred methods for each action.