November 26, 2018 12:11 pm
Updated: November 26, 2018 12:15 pm

Petition demands Quebec cannabis society stop using single-use plastics

A man shows off his cannabis purchase outside the Quebec Cannabis Society (SQDC) store.

REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
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A petition is demanding the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) stop using single-use plastics in its packaging.

READ MORE: Long lineups, marijuana smoke from Quebec pot stores hamper neighbouring businesses

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Montrealer Jody Aveline argues that the provincial Crown corporation needs to take a more eco-friendly approach “when distributing cannabis and cannabis-related byproduct.”

“Here’s this new Crown corporation that just started all fresh and they are pushing more plastic on the world,” he told Global News. “It’s ridiculous.”

READ MORE: Are Quebec’s cannabis products green enough?

The petition proposes the SQDC implement a refund or consignment policy, to encourage people to bring their containers back to the stores.

“What would be the damage of a $1 charge on a container?” Aveline asks.

“What about [making the packaging out of] hemp? Why not use the byproduct of the product?”

READ MORE: Quebec slashes cannabis store hours due to shortages

His other suggestions include assigning reusable containers to regular buyers and encouraging people to bring their own containers.

WATCH: Montrealers line up on the first day of legal marijuana sales

Aveline is the founder of the Cans 4 Cash Collection Service (C4CCS) and says he’s passionate about the environment.

“I collect bottles and cans from businesses, residents, organizations and recycling bins,” he said.

“More and more, I see these plastic containers. This is a Crown corporation that’s a month old. Are they going to be up there with Coca-Cola and Nestlé on plastic waste?”

He says he’s also “communicated for years” with the SAQ to encourage them to implement refunds for wine and spirit bottles.

READ MORE: Montreal police must be ‘fit for duty’ but will be allowed to smoke marijuana on personal time

“I’m trying to create a positive social change,” Aveline noted.

WATCH BELOW: What to expect from cannabis stores in Quebec

Products come in a variety of containers, from boxes to jars and bottles.

“It’s important to note that the SQDC is not responsible for the choice of packaging,” said Mathieu Gaudreault, a spokesperson for the corporation.

“These are choices made by our providers to follow guidelines by Health Canada that state the packages must be child- and tamper-proof.”

He adds that the containers are “almost all completely recyclable.”

WATCH BELOW: Why aren’t Quebec cannabis stores unionized?

“The SQDC is sensitive to this issue and will be looking at the environmental impact of our packaging during the next product selection meeting with our suppliers,” Gaudreault told Global News.

READ MORE: Marijuana is legal in Canada but expect tougher rules in Quebec

Health Canada told Global News that though it outlines the standards, it’s up to the provinces to determine how they will adhere to them.

So far, the petition has garnered more than 750 signatures.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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