7.2. Prevent and reduce the production of residual materials
In accordance with the 4R-D hierarchy, priority should be given to prevention through source reduction to decrease the quantity and toxicity of residual materials to be managed. Businesses responsible for marketing products can intervene at the design stage to make products more eco-friendly.
The government considers it essential that producers take greater responsibility and intends to adopt measures that prompt businesses to reduce the amount of residual materials derived from the consumption of their products. Voluntary agreements with businesses regarding reductions in packaging and improvements to packaging properties to facilitate recycling are among the measures that will be proposed. These measures will be the subject of discussions between the various actors concerned and, if the results of their implementation prove unsatisfactory, stricter measures can be adopted.
The government wishes to call on stakeholders for their assistance in tackling the major challenge of choosing concrete, effective measures to reduce waste at the source.
In addition, the government will continue to collaborate with social economy enterprises working in residual materials management–particularly those oriented toward reuse–and maintain its support for them. In a complementary fashion, community social organizations will be called on to implement public education and awareness projects on source reduction and reuse.
To set an example, the government wants to commit itself to reducing residual materials generated by its activities at the source and putting in place mechanisms that allow it to give preference to businesses with similar practices when contracts or subsidies are awarded. It also intends to evaluate a variety of methods that would allow it to promote products with a long life cycle. In light of this evaluation, concrete measures can be proposed and adopted.
The government also wishes to take advantage of the issuing of authorizations by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks to make businesses aware of the need to reduce at the source the raw materials they use and respect the hierarchy of residual materials management methods.
To take into account source reduction, the Policy sets a quantitative goal expressed as kilograms of disposed waste per capita. While respecting the 4R-D principle, this approach solicits the equitable participation of all key societal stakeholders, from producers to consumers of goods and services.