Deposit on wine bottles: the unions are back in charge

Consigne sur les bouteilles de vin: des syndicats reviennent à la charge

Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
According to Recyc-Québec, only 14% of the glass recovered in Quebec in 2015 has been recycled.

Three trade union organisations are collecting signatures on Saturday, in front of the branches of the Société des alcools du Québec, for the creation of a deposit for the bottles of wines and spirits.

The Confederation of national trade unions, the canadian Union of the public service and the united Steelworkers of america report that the vast majority of the glass placed in the bins recovery quebec is ultimately used in a landfill, as cover material, among others.

According to Recyc-Québec, only 14% of the glass recovered in Quebec in 2015 has been recycled.

“We can easily think of a deposit-return system smart by taking advantage of the extraordinary distribution network of the SAQ,” says the president of CUPE-Quebec, and Denis Bolduc. The trucks come filled bottles in a number of points of sale and distribution, then return empty to the warehouse. “

The assistant to the quebec director of the Steelworkers, Dominic Lemieux, ensures that this idea enjoys considerable popular support.

“Find me someone who is in favor enfouisse 180 million [of bottles] each year in Quebec in the dumps ! “he launched in a telephone interview with The canadian Press.

With the approach of provincial elections, the unions want to take advantage of what they perceive as a good economy, while the SAQ has been open to such a setpoint for the first time this week.

The secretary-general of the Federation of employees of public services of the CSN, Nathalie Arguin, explains that their petitions in this sense are already more than 25,000 signatures. They should be submitted to the national Assembly before the end of the parliamentary session.

Nathalie Arguin, welcomed the fact that the unions are able to this time to defend a measure of both ecological and beneficial to the workers.

“We are happy to see that there was no agonizing choice to make, recognize it. The point, it is good for the environment and also for the creation of jobs. “

“The trade unions, it is often associated with grievances, strikes, lock-outs, things like that, but there has been, over the years, actors of major changes in quebec society,” says Dominic Lemieux.

A question of opportunities

The day before, the SAQ was keen to point out that the challenge lies not in the retrieval of bottles of wine and spirits, but ” in the sorting of materials and the marketing of the local market, particularly for the colored glass “.

The vice-president and chief operating officer of the corporation, Catherine Dagenais, has raised this issue in a press release Éco Entreprises Québec, which provided an update on its pilot projects launched last fall in the five sorting centers.

Since then, the rate of recycling of the recovered glass in Quebec has increased from 14% to 50%, indicates ÉEQ, thanks for re-use in abrasives and in the filtration industry, among others.

Nathalie Arguin, CSN, the objection that the outlets are only rare for the recycled glass is of poor quality as it moves into the centres for the selective collection, in which he breaks, and contaminates.

Dominic Lemieux, the united Steelworkers, points out that the glass factory Owens-Illinois, however, must import materials recycled in the United States or elsewhere in Canada. The plant of Pointe-Saint-Charles, which employs some 400 workers, has even been threatened by these supply difficulties, he reports.

“The glass would be recycled directly to the SAQ, Owens Illinois could consume a large part “, argues the trade unionist.