As the New Year has arrived many people have started working on their New Year’s resolutions – beginning to change their behaviour and habits. Let us all take this as an opportunity to rethink our approach to reducing waste.

You may have heard by now, but in the beginning of 2018, China changed its way of dealing with the importation of recyclable material. After importing huge amounts of recyclable material for decades, China has now enforced a ban.
Since China is the world’s largest importer of waste, China’s recycling ban will have a huge impact on Montréal as well as Canada  as a whole. Much of the recyclable material now has to go to landfill because the amount of material is just too overwhelming for local processors.

The main reason for the recycling ban by the Chinese government is environmental concerns. A lot of the imported material contains contaminated material, which once again shows how important it is to be careful about what we put in our recycling bins.

Furthermore it reminds us one more time to reduce the amount of waste that we produce in the first place.

We prepared 7 easy steps to reduce waste:

  1. Try to only buy groceries that you know will not end up in the trash. Make a list before going shopping. That reduces the amount of unnecessary items ending up in your shopping cart.
  2. Bring your own bag instead of getting a new one every time. That not only reduces plastic waste but is also much more convenient!
  3. Think about your food storage. Take lunch in a reusable container and avoid disposable plastic bags.
  4. Use cloth kitchen towels instead of paper towels. It’s not only good for the environment but also works so much better!
  5. Cook your own food. Cooking your own food brings two big advantages. It reduces plastic waste and is also much healthier!
  6. Reduce your paper waste. Many newspapers and newsletters are available online! If you need to print, use both sides of the paper.
  7. Don’t buy a new bottle every time you need a drink. Bottles can be reused. Many cafés offer to fill your coffee to go in your own reusable cup or thermos.


By Simon Rathgeber (language intern Éco-quartier NDG)