Business Ecoresponsible Practices

Voluntary Code of Best Practices for the Use of Shopping Bags

In 2008, Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), in cooperation with retailers and distributors* and RECYC-QUÉBEC, developed the Voluntary Code of Best Practices for the Use of Shopping Bags to promote the reduction at the source, reuse and recycling of shopping bags.

As a result of those efforts, Quebecers now consume 52% fewer shopping bags.

A study released on July 23, 2012, in the presence of Pierre Arcand, Minister of Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP), shows that, between 2007 and 2010, Quebecers consumed  52% fewer single-use shopping bags. More specifically, 1.0 billion single-use shopping bags in 2010 were distributed as compared to 2.2 billion bags three years earlier. Only two years into the application of the Voluntary Code, this outcome exceeds by 2% the 50% reduction targeted by the government for 2012. For consumer goods retailers, particularly the food and drug store sectors, that reduction actually reached 60%.

The Voluntary Code defined 20 concrete measures to reduce the quantity of shopping bags distributed and disposed of every year in Quebec. The recommended actions included promoting the use of reusable bags and other durable containers in order to encourage the reuse, recovery and recycling of shopping bags as well as to raise awareness and inform store personnel and consumers about the issue.

*Involved retailers and Distributors:

  • Association des détaillants en alimentation du Québec (ADA)
  • Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD), now the Retail Council of Canada
  • Conseil québécois du commerce de détail (CQCD)

View the Reference Document:

Last update : March-18-14

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