THE 5 GOLDEN RULES OF EFFECTIVE RECYCLING
GOLDEN RULE N° 1
Rinse containers before placing them in the recycling bin.
Quickly rinsing containers prevents the contamination of other materials (particularly paper and cardboard), reduces unpleasant odours and the development of mould and, generally, ensures that sorting centre employees work in a healthier environment.
If possible, rinse them with the dishwater left from your daily clean-up – a simple eco-friendly gesture!
GOLDEN RULE N° 2
Recycle plastic bags and flexible film.
Empty bags of their contents, including cash register receipts, pack them in one bag and tie its handles in a knot to facilitate sorting centre operations. Plastic bags and flexible film are recovered by many Quebec municipalities.
GOLDEN RULE N° 3
Do not place heavily soiled paper or cardboard in the recycling bin.
Paper and cardboard soiled with food, oil or grease are not recyclable. However, a little grease on a doughnut or a pizza box does not disrupt the recycling process.
GOLDEN RULE N° 4
Separate a product’s packaging components.
Separating packaging components is a great help for sorting and recyclin operations. For example, before placing your cereal box in the recycling bin, remove the plastic, which should be put to the trash. Recyclable materials are sorted either manually and/or mechanically into various categories.
Note that it is not necessary to remove the label from tin cans or the plastic window on envelopes.
GOLDEN RULE N° 5
Remove circulars from the plastic bag they come in before placing them in the recycling bin.
Removing circulars from the plastic bag they come in before they are placed in the recycling bin optimizes materials sorting and recycling.
DISCOVER HOW YOU CAN BE A RESPONSIBLE CONSUMER
POSITIVE ACTION 1
To avoid purchasing single-use bags, remember to bring reusable bags when you go out shopping.
The best way to lower shopping bag consumption is to reduce at the source. If at all possible, don’t use any bag at all; otherwise, bring along reusable bags because, of all shopping bags, they have the least impact on the environment.
Wash your reusable bags frequently, especially after having carried fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, chicken or fish.
Source: Avis sur les sacs d’emplettes – Évaluation de leur impact environnemental, published by RECYC-QUÉBEC in 2007.
POSITIVE ACTION 2
Select larger packages instead of single-serving containers while making sure to avoid waste.
There are different ways to reduce waste at the source. Select products sold in larger sizes rather than single-servings to reduce the quantity of post-consumption packaging needing management.
Be sure to plan purchases of perishable products according to your needs to avoid wasting food, which has also a negative effect on the environment.
POSITIVE ACTION 3
Buy products that are not over-packaged..
Over-packaging occurs when packaging serves other purposes than protection, conservation, food safety, transportation, identification and information. Packaging whose sole purpose is to make the product more attractive to consumers is considered over-packaging. More companies are making efforts to optimize their packaging by reducing the volume and quantity of materials used for their containers.
POSITIVE ACTION 4
Choose products with packaging made from recycled materials.
Today, many companies use products and packaging made of recycled materials. By making a special effort to choose those products and placing materials in your recycling bin, you support the recycling cycle and play a part in preserving the environment by avoiding the needless use of natural resources, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas.
POSITIVE ACTION 5
Reuse packaging that can be easily applied to other purposes..
Packaging used for many consumer products may be applied to other purposes. Most glass and plastic containers with closures can be used to store many things, including food leftovers.
POSITIVE ACTION 6
Reduce your residual materials at the source.
Take every opportunity to reduce at the source the containers, packaging, printed matter and newspapers you generate. For example, choose to receive all your invoices electronically to reduce paper consumption.