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An easy way that you can help eliminate tonnes of waste

Amélie Côté

Analyst, Reduction at the Source

Published on 

At a time when we need to reduce our consumption in order to preserve our natural resources that are dwindling every year, there are simple solutions that can eliminate tons of waste. And it starts at our doorstep!

Millions of Quebecers receive flyers in their mailboxes that often go straight to the garbage or recycling bin.

82%


According to a Segma survey, 82% of us would like to see a change so that Publisacs are delivered only to those who request them.

At Équiterre, we’ve been working on this issue for a few years now and we’re hoping that you’ll help us go even further.

Ask your municipality for an opt-in for flyers

You’ve already put your ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your mailbox? That’s a great first step, but you can take your action even further and help create broader collective change.

The citizens of Montreal and Mirabel have done it!

We’ve got some inspiration to follow from the cities of Mirabel and Montreal who adopted, in 2019 and 2022 respectively, an opt-in system. This means that rather than systematically distributing bags of flyers to everyone, only those who request them will receive them.

Even more inspiring, in Montreal, it all started with a single citizen, Charles Montpetit. Proof that when one voice rallies many, we can create meaningful change!

Are you ready to make the same request for your municipality? We’ve drafted a pre-written email that you can personalize and send to your mayor, asking that flyers be distributed only to those who request them, rather than to everybody.

Make change happen!

The opt-in is so simple and so effective

For those who want to receive flyers, they simply need to ask. For those who don’t, the opt-in considerably reduces frustration. No one likes throwing things out that haven’t even been used, especially considering the materials, time and energy that went into producing them.

I am also very concerned about the negative impact associated with circulars and the consumption cycle they propose: the creation of needs, often unnecessary, which lead to the over-consumption of goods. For necessary goods such as groceries, and especially for households looking for discounts, these flyers can be requested or remain available in stores.

The opt-in system for flyers may be a disruptive measure, but it is a necessary step to reduce paper and plastic production and waste at its source.

Unsolicited flyers are a true waste of resources that can easily be avoided if our cities regulate them.