Many of us notice and applaud the growing efforts of our provincial government in the area of sustainable development. From reducing carbon emissions to promoting green energy, Quebec is gradually building a reputation for its proactive approach to fighting climate change.
However, in recent years, the public seems to have realized the limits of our current recycling infrastructure. While mechanical recycling is an essential part of our waste management system, it remains limited. Some types of plastic, for example, cannot be recycled by traditional methods. As a result, they end up in landfills, where they can take hundreds of years to decompose.
According to Recyc-Québec, more than half of the recyclable materials used by Quebecers end up in landfills rather than recycling.
Plastic waste is a burden on our economy and threatens the health of the environment, including wildlife, rivers, lakes and oceans. Indeed, last October, researchers from Blue Organization pointed out that plastic pollution in the Gulf of St. Lawrence represents an environmental disaster.
This is where molecular recycling comes into play.
This process makes it possible to recycle a much wider range of plastics and other materials, including items that would otherwise end up in landfills.
However, the benefits of molecular recycling go beyond simple waste reduction. By creating a circular economy where waste is transformed into new products, we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. We can also create new jobs and stimulate economic growth in Quebec’s growing green economy.
By 2030, all plastic packaging will be recyclable or recoverable. In addition, by implementing a circular economy for plastics, nearly 60% of the demand of Quebec industries by 2050 could be met by production based on plastics already in use. By comparison, the current linear economy is only able to meet 6% of the actual demand for recycled plastic.
Thus, to reach a level of recycling of packaging of at least 30% over the next decade, it will certainly be necessary to invest in innovative methods.
Molecular recycling is an essential solution to ensure a sustainable future for our planet. Our duty is to leave a healthy and prosperous planet for our children and their children. By embracing molecular recycling, we can take an important step towards achieving this goal.
Of course, implementing molecular recycling will require investment and commitment from both the private and public sectors. But the benefits are clear: a cleaner environment, a more sustainable economy, and a brighter future for generations to come.
It is therefore up to our elected officials and our companies to adopt molecular recycling and make it a central dimension of our waste management system. Let’s work together to create a more sustainable, prosperous and resilient Quebec.