Circular economy for plastic: the new Publisac bag made from 100% recycled plastic makes its debut on the island of Montréal

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Montréal, September 16, 2019 – TC Transcontinental (TSX: TCL.A TCL.B), owner of the Publisac, is proud to announce the launch of the Publisac bag made from 100% recycled plastic, and still 100% recyclable, a commitment made by the Corporation this past spring to the Environment Commission of the Montréal Metropolitan Community.

Taking an ecodesign approach, with the support of Éco Entreprises Québec, TC Transcontinental is replacing the Publisac’s recyclable virgin plastic bag by a bag that it produces itself here in Québec, made entirely from recycled plastic and still recyclable, to reduce its environmental footprint. This new Publisac will be distributed starting this week on the island of Montréal, in October in the other municipalities of the Montréal Metropolitan Community, and everywhere in Québec by the end of the year.

“We heard the citizens who expressed environmental concerns and we took the opportunity to make the Publisac one of the first milestones in the creation of a circular economy for plastic in Québec,” said François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer of TC Transcontinental. “We are very proud to launch this new bag made entirely from residual plastic. I am grateful to our internal teams in research and development, sustainability, procurement, distribution and packaging who mobilized themselves for this promising company project, in collaboration with several external partners, to come up with an innovative solution.”

Public consultation in Montréal
In light of the City of Montréal’s public consultation coming this fall on flyer distribution control stemming from the right of citizen initiative, TC Transcontinental reiterates that it will participate to defend the Publisac and its customers, advertisers and local weeklies. It will assert that the Publisac is a useful, responsible and legitimate service that must be maintained.

The unveiling of the new Publisac bag is the Corporation’s response to one of the subjects of the consultation, namely the use of the plastic bag to package the flyers1. This bag, made from 100% recycled plastic, 100% recyclable and reusable, is the best option for protecting flyers and local newspapers from bad weather. In addition to the new bag, TC Transcontinental intends to reduce at source 30% of plastic used previously by using smaller bag formats when possible and by continuing to test paper jackets for select interior distribution in Montréal this fall.

As relates to the public consultation’s subject on the call to overturn the Publisac’s distribution model towards an opt-in2 model, TC Transcontinental is unequivocal: it would mean the end of the Publisac. The end of the Publisac would also mean endangering the weeklies which depend on it, the end of savings that flyers provide for households, the deterioration of neighbourhood life, the disappearance of the primary promotional tool for local merchants, the disturbance of the circular economy for paper which is well established in Québec, a setback to the establishment of a circular economy for plastic in Québec, and illegal infringement of commercial freedom. The current opt-out distribution system, in which citizens can easily get and affix a pictogram to indicate that they do not want to receive the Publisac, respects their freedom of choice and enables TC Transcontinental to reduce at source the quantity of flyers to be printed and bags to be produced. 

1 Subject of the consultation: “Have all plastic bags for flyers replaced with packaging that does not need to be separated from the contents in order to be recycled.”
2 Subject of the consultation: “Amend the regulation so that a flyer can only be delivered onto a property if the resident accepts it by posting a logo showing a flyer inside a blue circle.”


About TC Transcontinental TC Transcontinental is a leader in flexible packaging in North America, and Canada’s largest printer. The Corporation is also a Canadian leader in its specialty media segments. For over 40 years, TC Transcontinental's mission has been to create products and services that allow businesses to attract, reach and retain their target customers.

Respect, teamwork, performance and innovation are the strong values held by the Corporation and its employees. TC Transcontinental's commitment to its stakeholders is to pursue its business activities in a responsible manner.

Transcontinental Inc. (TSX: TCL.A TCL.B), known as TC Transcontinental, has over 9,000 employees, the majority of which are based in Canada, the United States and Latin America. TC Transcontinental had revenues of more than C$2.6 billion for the fiscal year ended October 28, 2018. For more information, visit TC Transcontinental's website at www.tc.tc.


Source: TC Transcontinental

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