Launch of the Voluntary Code for the Optimization of Containers, Packaging and Printed Matter

A first in Canada

MONTREAL, Sept. 15, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) is pleased to announce the launch of the Voluntary Code for the Optimization of Containers, Packaging and Printed Matter intended for companies targeted by the curbside recycling compensation plan. Inspired from international experience, it is the Canadian industry's first voluntary initiative. The Voluntary Code was developed by ÉEQ in cooperation with contributing companies and ecodesign experts. The launch took place in the presence of Pierre Arcand, Minister of Quebec's Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs, and representatives of the first signatory companies.

The Voluntary Code uses a progressive, two-phase approach to packaging optimization. The first phase addresses specific business sectors starting with the Food and Health & Beauty sectors, which produce 80% of packaged products marketed in Quebec. By 2015, all business sectors targeted by the compensation plan will be covered by the Voluntary Code, therefore providing all companies with a framework to optimize their containers, packaging and printed matter.

"Today's market offers companies a whole array of packaging to choose from. 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. 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," said Maryse Vermette, ÉEQ President and CEO.

How it's done: Three areas for action, seven proposed strategies
The Voluntary Code uses a framework approach based on the life cycle of the packaged product and areas for action that focus on reduction at the source, ecodesign and recyclability. 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.

We're committed - We're signing on!
The signatories of the Voluntary Code will lighten their environmental footprint by taking concrete individual action. "Voluntary measures are a better option because they encourage companies to take responsibility and implement improvements that are adapted to their individual reality. In addition, they can respond to consumer demand," explained Denis Brisebois, ÉEQ Board Chairman.

The first signatories of the Voluntary Code are, in alphabetical order:

  • A. Lassonde inc.
  • Cascades Inc.
  • Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
  • Group Biscuits Leclerc Inc.
  • Lavo Inc.
  • Le Groupe Fruits & Passion
  • Métro Richelieu inc.
  • Olymel L.P.
  • Provigo, member of Loblaw group
  • Sobeys Québec
  • Société des alcools du Québec

For more information, see ÉEQ's website at: www.ecoentreprises.qc.ca.

About Éco Entreprises Québec
Éco Entreprises Québec is a private, non-profit organization. ÉEQ's mission is to represent companies with regard to their responsibility to finance their share of the net costs of municipal curbside recycling, establish reasonable fees to ensure program financing and, in partnership with other stakeholders, promote efforts to increase the quantities of recovered materials through curbside recycling at the lowest possible cost.

Fact sheet:
http://www.ecoentreprises.qc.ca/_site/EEQ/documents/applications/pdf/sommaire_code_vol_engl_15_09_2011.pdf

Corporate sheet :
http://www.ecoentreprises.qc.ca/_site/EEQ/documents/applications/pdf/fiche1_tech_corpo_eeq_engl.pdf

For further information:
Source: Information:
Maryse Vermette Marie-Christine Éthier
President and C.E.O. HKDP Communications and Public Affairs
Éco Entreprises Québec Office: 514-395-0375 ext. 232
  Cell: 514-212-3503
  mcethier@hkdp.qc.ca