Bécancour, November 25, 2016 – The payment of $5 million in financial assistance to PureSphera, for an innovative project in refrigeration appliance recycling, was announced today by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, on behalf of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region, Pierre Arcand. This financial assistance is granted under ÉcoPerformance, a program funded by the Green Fund as part of the 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change.
Mr. Heurtel was accompanied by his Parliamentary Assistant, the MNA for Maskinongé, Marc H. Plante, and the CEO of RECYC-QUÉBEC, Dany Michaud.
The project will deploy two distinct technologies. The first serves to recover the gases from refrigeration systems and from the foam insulation in refrigerators. The second destroys the recovered refrigerants and other gases. PureSphera will also recover and destroy refrigerants from automobiles as well as those of industrial, commercial and institutional origin.
“There are particular challenges in recycling refrigeration appliances like household refrigerators. They contain powerful GHGs called halocarbons, which are in the refrigerants and foam insulation and have to be properly removed and destroyed. PureSphera has developed an approach that reduces the waste from these appliances at the end of their life cycle, while also reducing the GHGs they emit. On top of this, the company says it has made carbon pricing part of its business strategy. It intends to do certain work under current protocols to obtain offset credits, for subsequent exchange on the carbon market. This is a beautiful example of an innovative company helping to both fight climate change and modernize Québec’s economy,” explained Minister Heurtel.
“Our government’s support for energy efficiency and innovation measures like the PureSphera project will have benefits for everyone. Besides improving our energy balance, it stimulates the economy in every region of Québec,” Minister Arcand pointed out.
The Minister for Transportation and Minister responsible for the Centre-du-Québec region, Laurent Lessard, said he was happy “to see PureSphera’s innovative project going ahead. The implementation of new technologies developed right here by their specialists is a shining example of Québec know-how. Besides creating jobs in our region, it will strengthen our environmental protection by improving the end-of-life management of appliances.”
The Government of Québec is at the forefront in the recovery of old refrigeration and freezer appliances. In 2008 it set up the Recyc-Frigo Environnement program run by Hydro-Québec. By December 31, 2014 nearly 460,000 appliances had been withdrawn from the market and recycled in accordance with applicable environmental standards. Québec is also showing leadership in the area of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), by obliging companies that market electronic products, batteries, fluorescent lamps, oils and paints, to recover and reclaim them at the end of their useful life.
Minister Heurtel also noted that making large appliances like refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners subject to EPR is a priority of both the 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change and the 2011-2015 Action Plan of the Québec Policy on Residual Materials. Bringing such appliances under the Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of products by enterprises will ensure that they are properly recovered and reclaimed.
In announcing measures for the safe capture and destruction of halocarbons from refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and similar appliances, Québec once again confirms its position as a leader in the fight against climate change. These actions are in line with the amendments to the Montréal Protocol recently discussed in Kigali, setting out a binding timetable for the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), whose warming potential is thousands of times greater than that of carbon dioxide (CO2).
“Ultimately, the amendment of the Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of products by enterprises, a measure set out in both the 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change and the 2011-2015 Action Plan of the Québec Policy on Residual Materials, will make manufacturers responsible for reducing the carbon footprint of their products,” explained the CEO of RECYC-QUÉBEC.
“Our support for reducing GHG emissions from residual materials is a continuation of our efforts to fight climate change. By adding large appliances to the list of products subject to EPR, we will stimulate the search for innovative solutions in manufacturing that are less harmful to the environment. In this way, not only will we reduce our environmental footprint, we will contribute to modernizing Québec’s economy. We need to continue working together along those lines to build a better, greener, more responsible world for our children. Let’s do it for them!” the Minister concluded.
Financed by the Green Fund through the 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change and the contribution of energy distributors, the ÉcoPerformance program is aimed at reducing GHG emissions and energy consumption by funding projects and measures related to energy production and consumption and the improvement of manufacturing processes.
For more information, go to efficaciteenergetique.gouv.qc.ca.
About Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
The Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of products by enterprises obliges companies that put certain products on the market to recover and reclaim them at the end of their useful life, on the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility. Beyond increasing the recovery and reclamation of the products concerned, this approach encourages companies to consider the environment when developing new products. Producers can either set up individual recovery and reclamation programs or ask an organization certified by RECYC-QUÉBEC to manage a shared program.
Full information on the Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of products by enterprises is available on the website of the Ministère at: www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca.
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