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Learn how to recycle your packaging

Published on March 12, 2024 at 16:09 / Updated on March 13, 2024 at 13:34

There may be times when you are wondering about how to best sort the materials you want to recycle. You are committed to play your part in preserving the environment, but adopting eco-friendly practices can be confusing. For example, what product packaging is recyclable? Is there anything you can’t recycle?

There's more to recycling than just putting your waste in the right bin. In this article, you’ll discover some simple but effective tips for mastering the art of recycling on a daily basis. From separating materials to quickly cleaning containers, here are our practical tips for making recycling a natural and sustainable process. 

Validate whether the product packaging is recyclable

The first step you should think about when disposing of any product packaging in the recycling bin is whether it is recyclable. What is recyclable product packaging? Recyclable product packaging is packaging that can be collected, sorted, processed and reused to produce new products or materials.

Most containers and packaging can be recycled when made from a single material. For example, glass containers (e.g. jam jars) and metal containers (e.g. cans) are recyclable. The same goes for most cardboard packaging (e.g. cereal boxes) and printed matter (e.g. newspapers). For plastic packaging, you must validate if it features a number from 1 to 7 before putting it in the recycling bin. If there is no number, the item cannot be recycled and should be placed in the garbage can.

PET - Polyethylene terephthalate HDPE - High-density polyethylene PVC - Polyvinyl chloride LDPE - Low-density polyethylene PP - Polypropylene PS - Polystyrene Others - Polycarbonate, teflon, melamine, rubbers, etc.

Did you know that item recyclability varies from municipality to municipality? For example, plastic #6 can be recycled in Québec City but not in most of Québec's other cities and regions. If in doubt about the recyclability of an item, consult your municipality's website or RECYC-QUÉBEC's Ça va où? app (French only).

While all these validations greatly help the sorting centers, before you make your next purchase, you might want to consider selecting products with recyclable packaging from the onset.

Separating materials

Once you've determined whether a product’s packaging is recyclable, it's important to separate the different types of material to facilitate the work of the sorting centers and optimize material recycling. It's a simple gesture that has a significant impact on the efficiency of the recycling process and the chances of reusing materials.

A simple example to integrate into your daily routine is to separate the aluminum foil from your medicine jars. Doing this only takes a few seconds, increasing the chances of recycling the different materials later on.

Roughly clean containers

Another tip for optimizing the material recycling process is performing a basic container cleaning. For example, a simple rinse of an empty cream jar or shampoo can improve the quality of the recycled materials. Ensuring the container is completely empty and clean not only facilitates the work of sorting center employees but also helps to avoid contamination between the various materials in the sorting center, maximizing the chances of recycling.

Sending hazardous materials to the right place

It's very important to properly manage hazardous materials, such as unused medications, old batteries or obsolete electronic equipment. For a list of hazardous materials and how to manage them, please consult your municipality's website or visit RECYC-QUÉBEC's Ça va où? app. As for your old medications, we recommend that you return them to your nearest Familiprix store. Pharmacists are trained to handle these substances safely, whether in solid or liquid form, to ensure that they are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. 

Ultimately, try to reduce the amount of product packaging

All of the aforementioned tips are great ways to help you to reduce your environmental footprint. However, the ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of packaging you use in the first place to reduce its environmental impact. By opting for products and brands that minimize product packaging, you will encourage companies to rethink their packaging strategies. One accessible solution is to look for bulk or refillable packaging options at your Familiprix store. There's a whole range of options available to you. It's just a question of keeping an eye out for them!

The drugs and pharmaceutical services featured on the website are offered by pharmacists who own the affiliated pharmacies at Familiprix. The information contained on the site is for informational purposes only and does not in any way replace the advice and advice of your pharmacist or any other health professional. Always consult a health professional before taking or discontinuing medication or making any other decision. Familiprix inc. and the proprietary pharmacists affiliated with Familiprix do not engage in any way by making this information available on this website.