Voluntary Quebec program uses two-phase approach to packaging optimization
MONTREAL: Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) has launched the Voluntary Code for the Optimization of Containers, Packaging and Printed Matter, which is intended for companies targeted by Quebec’s curbside recycling compensation plan. The code is Canada’s first voluntary initiative and was developed by ÉEQ along with contributing companies and ecodesign experts.
The code uses a two-phase approach to packaging optimization, said ÉEQ. The first phase addresses business sectors starting with the food and health and beauty sectors, which produce 80 percent of packaged products marketed in Quebec. By 2015, all business sectors targeted by the compensation plan will be covered by the code, providing a framework to optimize their containers, packaging and printed matter.
“Companies should make packaging choices that take into account the overall impact on recycling streams and, given their legal obligation to finance the net costs of municipal curbside recycling programs, it is in their interest to make wise choices,” said Maryse Vermette, ÉEQ president and CEO. “The voluntary code provides a framework for continuous improvement that is based on proven strategies. In addition, ÉEQ will provide companies with guidance as they develop their initiatives. The results of those efforts will be consolidated on a yearly basis and exemplary practices shared publicly.”
The code uses a framework approach based on the lifecycle of the packaged product and areas focusing on reduction at the source: ecodesign and recyclability. ÉEQ said the proposed seven strategies guide companies in developing their optimization initiative: life cycle thinking, adopting responsible procurement criteria, improving the packaging/product ratio, designing for transport, improving the usage scenario, improving recyclability and communications.
“Voluntary measures are a better option because they encourage companies to take responsibility and implement improvements that are adapted to their individual reality,” said Denis Brisebois, ÉEQ Board Chairman. “In addition, they can respond to consumer demand.”
The first signatories are: