Make the PubliSac better, don’t ban it
“Ad bags” are the poster-child for irresponsible marketing. Municipalities are BEING pressured to ban the bags to reduce waste. In Aylmer, the ad bags are too useful to get rid of. Why dismantle a system that works, when simple improvements can make a big difference.
The problems with the bag are that certain flyers are impossible to recycle or reuse if they are glossy. The bag itself is plastic, and thus is hard to recycle. Another problem is the mess caused in apartment building entrances when ad bags pile up in a disorderly way.
The Bulletin has been asking readers to reuse – not recycle – all the newsprint they receive at home. Reusing newsprint to wrap compost, for garden mulch, or to start fires is far more environmentally-responsible than pitching it into the blue bin. Blue bin contents get sorted and sent off to different countries for final treatment. Some recyclable waste is sold on a market (like newsprint), but some is treated as waste with no second life. All of this is an expense for our cities (read: taxpayers), which is supplemented by Quebec (pays back to cities a portion of the recycling deficit). Quebec City then requires paper producers, such as this newspaper, or companies that run flyers, to pay the Quebec government a flat rate on all newsprint that comes out of a print shop. So, the environmentally-responsible move on the part of cities and provinces would be merely to require all flyers to be easily compostable, as is newsprint.
It has been a long time since a tree was cut down to make newsprint, if that’s an issue for concerned readers. Newsprint is made of by-products from the lumber industry, which actually reduces waste in Quebec! And newspaper ink is vegetable-based, again environmentally less-damaging than the chemicals used in decades past. The bags themselves could BE vegetable-based, rather than plastic, and as for the messy entrance-ways, well some solution start at home.
In Outaouais, in Aylmer, folks are looking for more to read, not less. Around the Bulletin office, people can be seen reading flyers from front to back! They aren’t only looking for coupons or special deals. They are spending time reading something new. With newspapers inside, PubliSac is being used more for distributing information.
Knowing that many people wish to read more, but don’t have the habit – or means – to buy more magazines, books, and newspapers, promoting a ban on the ad bags borders on elitism.
How about putting the efforts to ban the bags towards improving them – and helping the Bulletin grow! – by adding content to the ad bags?