Montreal’s zero waste festival highlights a growing movement

MONTREAL – Thousands of people are expected to pass through the Zero Waste festival at the Bonsecours market this weekend.

The event highlights a growing movement of people trying to reduce — or eliminate — the waste they produce.

Plastic wrap and styrofoam will be nowhere in sight at the festival, organizers said. Only reusable products will be on display.

But to those who subscribe to it, zero waste isn’t just about reusable items, and not throwing things away — it’s a way of life.

“It’s just a lifestyle. As a lifestyle, it takes time to change it, so it’s doing one step at a time to reduce one waste at a time,” said Elodie Briant, president of the Quebec zero waste association.

The festival will host workshops for people interested in sustainable living, and a mock-up of a zero-waste apartment will be on display.

Merchants will sell reusable containers for laundry detergent, soap and many other household items. Reusing is good for the planet, but it also saves money, they argue.

“Every time you drop this plastic container into your recycling bin, you lose money,” said Anthony Poitras, a merchant. “Because when you reuse it, you save. With manufactured products like that, the highest cost of this product is the container.”