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To stop the distribution of unsolicited flyers

The issues 

Why is it a problem?

In the midst of an environmental crisis, the delivery of unsolicited flyers, such as Publisacs, is irresponsible and wasteful. We’re talking about thousands of tonnes of advertising materials.

When unsolicited, and therefore not used, they end up adding to the mountains of waste in our landfills, which are fast approaching full capacity.

When flyers are recycled, it’s better, but a lot of energy goes into sorting and recycling a product that hasn’t even been used. Worse still, when the flyers are not removed from the Publisac bags, the bags impede the recycling process. Even when they are separated, there are very few local facilities where these bags can be recycled.

The solution is simple: flyers can be delivered only to those who request them, rather than be systematically delivered to everyone. It would reduce flyer waste at the source. For those who want them, they can simply opt-in to receive them.


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.

Change is happening

In 2019, Mirabel became the first city in Quebec to adopt the opt-in formula, a system whereby people sign up to have flyers delivered to their home. This decision was opposed by TC Transcontinental, the company that prints and distributes Publisacs. The case made its way to the Quebec Superior Court, which ruled in favour of Mirabel.

In April 2022, Montreal followed suit, announcing that it too would adopt the opt-in system. This decision was in response to public demand, initiated several years ago by a citizen, Charles Montpetit, with whom Équiterre has been working on this dossier.

The time has come for all Quebec municipalities to join the movement! If Mirabel and Montreal can do it, the rest of the province can as well.

 With the support of our fellow citizens, we convinced Montreal to eliminate tonnes of waste from flyers. This precedent can be applied across the province. You can make it happen in your region too – it only takes a few minutes to email your mayor. 

Charles Montpetit

engaged citizen

Take action

You can call on your mayor to implement an opt-in system for flyers, and avoid tonnes of waste in your municipality. 

You’ve already put your “no junk mail” sticker on your mailbox? That’s great! But you can take your action even further and help to create broader societal change. 

Do like Charles Montpetit and write to your elected representatives. Ask to your mayor to ensure that in your city, flyers are sent only to people who have opted to receive them, not to everyone. 

We encourage you to personalize the message, especially the salutation. Unsolicited mails are a true waste of resources, that can easily be avoided if your city regulates them. It’s time to take action!