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Publisac grocery flyers to reach only those Montreal households that ask for them

Canadian Press - Mon Apr 11, 2022

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says grocery store flyers will be delivered only to residents who request them, marking a win for environmentalists and prompting criticism from the company behind the advertisements.

Plante says that starting in May 2023, locals who still want to receive the flyer bundles — dubbed the Publisac in Quebec — will have to slap a sticker on their door. The bags will no longer be plastic.

The move follows a public consultation by the city and years of criticism from environmental groups demanding a ban on Publisac deliveries.

But TC Transcontinental, a Montreal-based packaging and printing company, says an opt-in system would effectively end its flyer distribution due to prohibitive costs and complexity.

The 46-year-old company says the current opt-out model is "simple and effective."

It says the Publisac currently goes out to more than 200,000 Quebecers, including 120,000 Montreal households, allowing them to take advantage of grocery deals.

"The Publisac, in addition to giving consumers access to discounts, distributes local newspapers at an advantageous cost, helps merchants to attract customers and compete against the giants of e-commerce, and supports thousands of direct and indirect jobs," Patrick Brayley, vice-president of Transcontinental's distribution segment, said in a statement.

"We intend to assert our rights and those of our customers if necessary."

The mayor says about 800,000 flyers and other unsolicited ads reach Montreal doorsteps each week, amounting to more than 41 million flyers per year that wind up in recycling depots and landfills.

“Cities must take strong action to respond to the climate crisis, and this regulation will allow us to reduce at the source a significant quantity of paper and plastic in circulation in Montreal,” Plante said.

Montreal aims to become zero waste by 2030.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TCL.A)

Provided Content: Content provided by Canadian Press. The Globe and Mail was not involved, and material was not reviewed prior to publication.

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