We have implemented many initiatives
to reduce the environmental impact
of our activities.
A second life for glass
Research and development to add value to glass
What happens to glass bottles is a major concern for the SAQ. That is why we have developed initiatives focused on all the stages in the life cycle of the bottles we sell.
Our initiatives include:
- Encouraging our suppliers to favour the use of lightweight glass bottles and alternative containers.
- Meeting our legal obligations by helping to cover the cost of municipal selective collection services.
- Partnering with Éco Entreprises Québec’s Innovative Glass Works plan, whose goal is to find a concrete solution for 100% of the glass (food containers, wine bottles, etc.) that Quebecers place in their recycling bins.
And that’s not all!
- As we believe in Quebec engineering and developing the next generation, we have formed partnerships with researchers to find new, local, value-added uses for recovered glass.
- We are mobilizing players in the field to promote the circular economy and improve the growth potential of the recovered glass industry.
- We provide a testing ground for developments in the field. For example, we have used the equivalent of nearly three million wine bottles in the form of recycled glass in a hundred different projects (flooring, furniture, mulch, etc.).
Use of glass in concrete and paving stones
Since 2004, the SAQ has helped fund the Université de Sherbrooke’s Chaire de valorisation du verre dans les matériaux de l’Université de Sherbrooke. The Chair’s researchers have developed the use of ground or pulverized glass in concerte and paving stones. A patent has even been applied for.
The SAQ also supports the Chair in carrying out its mandate to transfer knowledge to the industry in Quebec and around the globe. As a result, millions of glass containers have found a second life replacing concrete in city sidewalks, urban furniture and paving stones.
Incorporating glass into concrete helps to:
- improve the concrete’s performance (durability, water-resistance, strength);
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by cement manufacturing;
- reduce the environmental impact of our construction projects.
Recycled glass in Quebec roads and highways
In 2005, the SAQ signed an agreement with the École de technologie supérieure (ETS), the City of Montreal, Éco Entreprises Québec and RECYC-QUÉBEC to support research into the use of recycled glass on Quebec roads and highways (asphalt).
An initial asphalting test incorporating glass was carried out in 2016 for the parking lot of an SAQ administrative building. A second test to evaluate the performance of crushed glass as an asphalt underlay, replacing the usual gravel, was also done. In all, some 120 tons of glass, the equiavlent of 240,000 wine bottles, found a new life through these two pilot projects.
Recycled glass mulch is made from finely ground glass containers. As it is manufactured mainly from glass of various colours (clear, green, brown) transformed into a kind of coarse sand, it has a pale green colour not unlike that of pistachios. It is neither toxic nor cutting. Recycled glass mulch is the product of a collaboration with Albert Mondor, a well-known horticulturalist and garden designer.