(Quebec) That companies throw away tons of food products or goods such as electronic devices and clothing every year, when they are perfectly usable, is no longer socially acceptable, says the Parti Québécois (PQ). The political formation will table a bill on Tuesday for the government to bring retailers who do not contribute to find a second life for their unsold products.
“The production of waste is expensive for society, municipalities and taxpayers in Quebec. When it’s waste that is new, unsold material or that we can consume and use, that’s what makes it scandalous and requires the government to intervene, “says to La Presse the deputy of the Islands of -la-Madeleine, Joel Arseneau.
As an example, he cites a study by Recyc-Québec, according to which 16% of the 7.5 million tonnes of food that enters the province’s biofood system each year are lost or wasted. According to Mr. Arseneau, “the government must help us bring Quebecers, and particularly the industry, back to practices that are much more socially acceptable, much more economical and much more environmental,” he said.
The PQ bill is the second parliamentary initiative of its kind to hit the headlines in recent days. Earlier this month, Québec solidaire (QS) also proposed to force food companies to reduce waste by entering into agreements with food aid organizations.
At the Parti Québécois, we explain that their thoughts go a step further, while the political party also wants to tackle the waste of furniture and fashion retailers and supermarkets who intentionally destroy goods to make them unusable, rather than to entrust them to social economy enterprises and organizations that could use them.
The PQ says its bill provides for “very repressive administrative, pecuniary and criminal penalties” against companies that attempt to circumvent the law. These penalty provisions could range between $2,500 and $1,500,000.
According to Joël Arseneau, Quebecers have lost their good habits of repairing the goods they own before buying new ones since planned obsolescence means that a new product often costs less to buy than repairing the one we already have.
“If we’ve lost that reflex of bringing, for example, electronic devices to the repairer, it’s either because the retailer tells us that it’s going to cost more than buying a new one, or that the parts are going to take forever to order and get, when in today’s society you want immediate results or quick service,” he says.
The PQ propose that merchants or manufacturers make available “the spare parts, tools and repair services necessary for the maintenance or repair of an object” and that this be part of their obligations as retailers. .