Environment

Desjardins, in partnership with Go Zero, has recycled more than one million used masks in less than six months.

October 21, 2021

Montreal, October 21, 2021Desjardins is concerned about the disposal of single-use masks, those fixtures of daily life since the pandemic began. When people use two or three disposable masks a day, hundreds of thousands of masks end up in landfill or incinerators each month. Our partnership with Go Zero, which debuted last May, has resulted in the recycling of over one million used masks. More than 90 caisses have established mask recycling programs, as have all Desjardins Group corporate sites, including Complexe Desjardins and Cité de la coopération in Lévis.

”Our partnership with Go Zero makes Desjardins a part of a circular economy solution where used masks can be used again while reducing their environmental impact,” said Viviane Garneau, Desjardins Vice President, Real Estate, Procurement and Administration Division. “It’s part of RÉCUP, our waste management plan based on the 5 Rs (reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery, rethinking) that takes a circular approach, starting with procurement but also encouraging purchases from local social economy enterprises”.

Quebec-based Go Zero provides a true circular economy solution and applies best practices in traceability, transparency, and sustainable development. Go Zero’s social economy partners commit to receiving, decontaminating and separating the various materials that recycling partners then turn into new materials and goods. The resulting products are fully recyclable. These operations all take place locally, sustaining local businesses and communities.

We’re extremely pleased that a company like Desjardins is participating in our mask recycling program,” said Keith Éthier, Go Zero’s president. “This program really reduces the pandemic’s environmental footprint and turns waste products into new sources of materials. This proves that adversity drives innovation and social coordination. Recycling and recovery are both things we can do today for a better tomorrow. It’s up to us to be role models and lead the way, and Desjardins is doing this with us.”

In addition, preliminary RECYC-QUÉBEC data show that, of all current solutions, mask recycling is the most promising in terms of environmental impact. The study finds that recycling results in less pollution and risk and is the most sustainable of all approaches to mask disposal. When it comes to energy recovery, neither landfill nor incineration can match recycling and producing new, recyclable materials.

About Go Zero

Go Zero is a Quebec-based recycling company that offers circular economy solutions to address environmental and social issues. By innovating and committing fully to a robust vision of sustainable development, Go Zero collects and recycles various previously unrecycled products. Go Zero develops simple, effective solutions. Where others see only problems and garbage, we see new sources of materials. Focused on environmental efficiency and strengthening communities, Go Zero brings together movements to drive “circular value creation.”  

For journalists only: Chantal Corbeil
Public relations, Desjardins Group
514-281-7229 or 1-866-866-7000, ext. 5557229
media@desjardins.com