Unwrapping this fall, get ready for ÉEQ’s new documentary

When the topic of packaging arises, we often wonder about the efforts businesses make to reduce their environmental impact, and many myths persist in public opinion. However, did you know that for over fifteen years, companies have had a financial responsibility to containers, packaging and printed matter (CP&PM) they market in Quebec by offsetting net costs incurred from municipal curbside recycling services? These are the companies that Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) represents and supports in their CP&PM optimization processes. 

ÉEQ did not wait for the modernization of curbside recycling to kick-start in order to raise awareness and collaborate with companies over different projects and initiatives. For more than ten years, ÉEQ has been supporting the industry in regards to ecodesign and recyclability integration for a circular economy of packaging. Things are starting to change thanks to a number of projects we have worked on together. 

Since raising public awareness on packaging ecodesign has also become essential but requires an explanation as to why this approach must be taken, we are pleased to launch the Unwrapping documentary this fall, which is the product of a renewed partnership between Sylvain Allard, Head of the School of Design at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), and Éco Entreprises Québec. Unwrapping fits into the modernization of curbside recycling as an excellent informative and educative tool for both businesses and citizens. Every single player in this extensive field is essential towards attaining the ambitious performance goals we have set. We can only succeed by working together. 

This is why, for such a large-scale initiative, we required the support of a number of people who believed in this project and who generously opened their doors for us to film, capture, exchange, etc. This was quite a challenge with the pandemic! Éco Entreprises Québec would like to thank everyone who let us set foot in their companies and organizations and who also participated in our reflections on packaging during this project. 

“After countless conversations and reflections over this third edition of Packplay, Sylvain and I were looking to shift gears. We both thought a documentary would widen our audience and increase awareness in terms of packaging, ecodesign and more importantly the role and importance of the design process. We wanted to present a more nuanced discussion surrounding packaging, which we love to hate despite needing it.”  

Our relation with the UQAM dates back to 2014 and this promising and enlightening partnership allows us to share our message in front of a larger audience. The greater the space for dialogue and collaboration, the greater the benefit is for everyone. Together, we can accomplish great things. 

If you wish to get a closer look at the Unwrapping documentary project and learn more about the behind-the-scenes, visit the website. 


Synopsis :

We hear a great deal about ocean plastic pollution, overpackaging and the recycling crisis. We also often hear that recycling is pointless because everything ends up in the landfill. This is, understandably, extremely discouraging and sometimes hopeless, to the point where some of us wonder if it is too late to save the planet and its population. As a graphic designer and a professor at UQAM School of Design, Sylvain Allard has sought to explore, to better understand in order to better define, the role and responsibility of the designer in the search for solutions to environmental issues concerning our production and consumption processes, including packaging. He decided to meet players involved in packaging conception, design, marketing and end-of-life management to survey experts over this issue. 

Unwrapping looks to shed light on the complex system behind packaging, and its many roles. One of the documentary’s objectives is to inform and raise consumer awareness about responsible and conscious consumption choices as well as their role in a successful end-of-life management over packaging. Unwrapping also intends to promote awareness for designers who take part in the packaging development process and for players throughout the different stages of production such as marketing and the management of packaging material flows. Designers must better understand their role in this essential transformation of our production and consumption processes.