The Quebec Waste Reduction Week (QWRW) was launched in the early 2000s. Even at the time, the overproduction of waste and its adverse environmental impacts was an issue that dominated discussions. Today, the situation is as dire as ever.

In Quebec, 13 million tonnes of residual materials are generated each year. That’s the equivalent of a 25-tonne truck per minute. 5.4 million tonnes of this waste end up in landfills and the incinerator! In 2014, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from waste disposal accounted for 6.7% of total emissions in Quebec.

But can we really aspire to a world without waste?

Our future as inhabitants of this planet largely depends on the answer. To fight climate change and avoid environmental disasters of which we are the main victims, we need to rethink our lifestyle.

Reduction at source is a concrete solution to limit the amount of materials sent for disposal and reduce our environmental impact. However, for both citizens and organizations, it can be difficult to know where and how to reduce.

The Quebec Waste Reduction Week (QWRW) was born from these observations and a desire to promote waste reduction initiatives

A platform to share and reflect

The QWRW is first and foremost a platform to share responsible practices inspired by the idea to “Consume differently”.

Throughout the years, Zero Waste Québec, the coordinator of the QWRW, has spoken to an ever-growing number of citizens, workers and students. To do this, the QWRW has always given support to businesses, organizations, institutions and municipalities, whether by raising their awareness or backing up their reduction initiatives, such as:

  • fighting against over-packaging;
  • adopting a sustainable procurement policy;
  • setting GHG emissions reduction targets for business trips;
  • reducing energy consumption in production processes;
  • reducing stress on raw materials by developing efficient recycling programs;
  • integrating circular economy principles.

2021: the rise of a new species

The past few months have been unparalleled and have led to many rapid changes in habits. While the pandemic has had many negative impacts on our lives and the environment, it cannot be denied that it’s also had positive impacts. By force of circumstances, we’ve learned that, as individuals, as organizations and as a society, we’re able to make rapid and radical changes. When a drastic situation requires it, Quebeckers can adapt and make sacrifices for the common good.

Historically, evolution has led to the emergence of species better adapted to their environment, contributing to their survival. Even today, despite a pandemic that seems to lose ground, humans are facing a climate crisis that can no longer be ignored. We can choose, perhaps for the first time ever, when and how we will evolve not only to better cope with climate change, but more importantly, to mitigate it as much as possible.

For this purpose, the 2021 QWRW is introducing Eco sapiens, the one who will rise to this challenge! Whether by favouring reusable products, mending their clothes rather than throwing them away, or reducing solo driving, every Eco sapiens evolves in a different way. What unites this species is the desire to change for oneself, for the community, for the environment and for younger generations.

To help you transition into an Eco sapiens, we’re offering new awareness-raising tools, as well as significantly increasing their reach and diversifying their format

  • Code Z, a charter of 20 commitments to reduce and consume sustainably, is back and invites you to make a formal commitment to reduce in your daily life and consume differently in all your spheres of activity. This year, we’ve added an assessment grid which you can use to challenge your consumption habits.
  • This year, the information sheets of the QWRW will feature reduction projects implemented by municipalities, organizations, businesses and citizen groups. Watch the Ex-Eco videos to get a detailed understanding of the paths of inspirational people who are actively making contributions to the planet and their community. Draw inspiration from them and replicate their projects at home!
  • Quebec schools and students will be able to once again participate in a reduction contest! This year, we want to see how Eco sapiens inspires young people in Quebec. Let your imagination run wild and send us your artwork of what Eco sapiens represents. Find out how your child, students, class or school can participate and get the chance to win a grant.
  • The Projet Z app is also back to encourage individuals to actively participate in reduction challenges and maximize the awareness campaign’s impacts. This year, join official groups that will suggest specific challenges.

In addition to several other awareness tools that will be offered this year (did someone say online magazine?), all of our content will be available in English for the very first time!

It can’t be overstated, the best remedy against eco-anxiety is taking action—action for sustainable change and mobilization toward a zero-waste era. Join this collective effort from October 23 to 31, 2021 and begin your evolution toward Eco sapiens!


Our Key partners in 2021

Zero Waste Québec organizes the 2021 Quebec Waste Reduction Week
with the help of its partners and sponsors and would like to thank them for supporting such a good cause!

Throwback posters