May 22, 2017 12:04 pm
Updated: May 22, 2017 2:16 pm

‘Zero waste’ initiative takes off in Vaudreuil-Dorion

WATCH ABOVE: A new movement in Vaudreuil-Dorion is encouraging residents to bring their own reusable containers while shopping. Global's Dan Spector reports.

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A new movement in Vaudreuil-Dorion, west of Montreal, is encouraging residents to bring their own reusable containers while shopping – and more and more stores are getting involved.

Circuit Zéro Déchet (Zero Waste Network, in English) was founded by a Sylvie Trottier, a graphic designer from Valleyfield.

She was designing packaging for countless products destined to be thrown out and said she started to feel guilty.

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So, Trottier decided to created a sticker encouraging people to bring their own containers.

She asked business owners if they would display it on their front door or window.

“With a sticker, people can put it on their front windows, so people know they can bring their own jars there and they’re not shy,” Trottier told Global News.

She said people often want to bring their own containers to stores, but don’t think they’re allowed.

Circuit Zéro Déchet has an interactive map, showing all the stores taking part in the initiative.

One of the first businesses to get involved was Vert Essentiel, a Vaudreuil boutique that sells things like dish soap and laundry detergent in bulk.

“You can save the planet one gesture at a time. You keep your container. You keep your mason jar at home, and then you reuse them,” said Vert Essentiel owner Christine Grenier.

Most recently, the City of Vaudreuil has gotten involved, giving out stickers for free and calling businesses that sell products in bulk to try to convince them to take part.

City officials say they are happy to help reduce the amount of waste for environmental reasons, but also think transporting less garbage will save money.

“Because we reduce at the source, all the packaging that we use, it can make a lot of difference,” said Vaudreuil-Dorion environmental project manager Ariane Leroux.

One of the businesses the city managed to get on board was Cananut.

Owner Aren Bedros was already encouraging his customers to use mason jars instead of plastic bags before hearing about Circuit Zéro Déchet.

He said he was happy to find out he wasn’t alone.

“I didn’t know there was an organization like this here in Vaudreuil. I got interested, I did my application,” Bedros told Global News.

Now, he says the Cananut head office may implement reusable packaging at all seven of its stores.

Thirty-nine stores across the province are now participating in Circuit Zéro Déchet, including seven on the island of Montreal.

Trottier says her goal is to widen the network and turn it into a “zero waste TripAdvisor,” where businesses everywhere can share their reusable packaging efforts online and customers can find zero-waste stores, no matter where they are.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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