The Quebec government plans to revamp how recyclable materials are handled by giving manufacturers in the province more responsibility to make sure what they produce doesn’t end up in the trash.

Provincial Environment Minister Benoit Charette said the goals are to give companies incentives to make products that are more easily recyclable and to reduce the amount of material at the source.

“We have problems with contamination. We have problems with selling [the materials],” Charette said at a news conference Tuesday at Montreal’s recycling centre in Lachine. 

“[The public’s] confidence is quite fragile because we’ve had crisis for some years now.”

With markets abroad raising the quality standards of the recycled materials they will accept — or refusing the materials entirely — Charette said the priority will be to find local companies to make use of the paper, glass, metal and plastic collected.

An inability to find a buyer for recycled paper was the reason given by TIRU, the company that managed the recycling plant in Montreal and some of those elsewhere in the province, when it announced it was ceasing operations.

The government says it will make $30 million available over the next three years to upgrade the province’s recycling facilities and support innovative ways to process recycling and reduce reliance on single-use plastics.

It plans to begin implementing the new system in 2022 and have it fully in place by 2025.

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