Elections and recycling—would you like a Adirondack chair with that?

Cascades gives a second life to campaign signs made of coroplast.

Campaign signs, ballots, voter cards, ballot boxes, polling booths… Every election requires an impressive amount of material—as fast as it can be made. Then, when the big day is over, the countless obsolete tools take various paths: they are seldom reused, sometimes discarded, and, fortunately, often recycled. In Quebec, the electoral machinery was set into motion last August; now that September has come, we are already looking for opportunities to give the material a second life.

At Cascades, we’re proud to do our bit for this “great electoral recycling.” Before the election, up to the moment when ballots are marked with an X, we work to close the loop by providing eco-friendly supplies and recycling services.

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Before polling day: Sustainable sourcing

Before the election, a “notice to the elector” was sent to every Quebec residential address. Ahead of the big day itself, it was followed by a “reminder card.” Those two mass mailings were printed on FSC-certified paper made up of 50% recycled fibres and made using local and renewable biogas energy. It was processed in Quebec—in one of Cascades’s Saint-Jérôme facilities, to be precise.

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After the elections: Recovery

Like all other printed paper, these cards can be disposed of in green or blue bins, depending on your region—they are 100% recyclable. And since Cascades is the top recycler of waste paper and cardboard in Canada, it’s fairly likely that the election cards will return to one of our plants to be transformed into another product made from recycled fibres.

Each political party has fifteen days to remove its campaign signs after polling day. Where do these signs go after their stay on lampposts? The parties are free to dispose of them as they wish. Fortunately, many of them are quite creative in giving them a second life.

Since they are made of coroplast, campaign signs are also recyclable. Cascades offers to take them back: they can be sent directly to the Cascades Re-Plast division, located in Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil, near Drummondville. RECYC-QUÉBEC also lists recyclers who accept campaign signs here.

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A second life for signs: Back to the great outdoors!

What happens to the signs that are sent to us? They become park benches, Adirondack chairs, picnic tables, and more!

Our Cascades Re-Plast plant recycles coroplast and transforms it into a tough and durable material made of 100% recycled plastic. This material is a component in a variety of products ranging from outdoor furniture to building materials for balconies and patios—all of them made at the very same plant.

 

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About the Author
Isabelle Plouffe

As a communications advisor, Isabelle is involved in a variety of projects at Cascades. Her past projects include managing the launch of Cascades’ social media presence and the development of a strategy to attract our next generation of employees. She recently joined the Sustainable Development Department, and she is currently focusing on the Company’s internal communications. “I have the opportunity to work on innovative projects where the human dimension is in the foreground.” Isabelle has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a certificate in organizational communication. She began her adventure at Cascades in 2006.

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