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These Pictures Show How Trashed Montreal Parks Can Get

It's important to dispose of your waste responsibly.

Sunny, warm weather is finally here and to take advantage of it, many people are heading to parks to enjoy picnics and small gatherings with friends.

It's definitely much easier to follow public health guidelines in the great outdoors than it is on a tiny balcony that you share with your roommates.

However, during these gatherings, a lot of containers like aluminum cans and pop bottles are thrown in the garbage or even on the ground, which is harmful to the local ecosystem.

When a bottle is tossed into a pond, it impacts the flora and fauna and damages the environment of the ducks that live there. What's more, a glass bottle takes up to 1,000 years to break down.

Parc régional de la Rivière-du-Nord

Across the province, 1.5 million refundable containers are thrown in the garbage or left on the ground each day, never to be recycled.

By being environmentally conscious and adopting good practices in public spaces, you can keep our green spaces from turning into landfills.

So the next time you go to the park, consider bringing a reusable bag with you so that you can fill it with your empty containers. On your way home, you can return them at a nearby retailer.

Deposit-refund is an environmentally friendly way to recover and recycle refundable containers. According to Consignaction, recycling an aluminum can uses 95% less energy and 40% less water than making a new one.

In Quebec, any retailer that sells soft drinks or beers in refundable, non-refillable containers must accept empty bottles returned to their store and refund the deposit to the consumer. A full list of refundable products is available here.

This means that you can return your empty refundable containers to a convenience store, grocery store or supermarket, ensure that they will be fully recycled, and get a refund for each one.

Although Quebecers already return 75% of refundable containers, more can be done.

Parc Lafontaine

Did you know that it takes plastic bottles up to 400 years to break down naturally? Meanwhile, aluminum cans take between 200 and 500 years to degrade.

A quick visit to the Lachine Canal, Parc LaFontaine and Parc régional de la Rivière-du-Nord is all it takes to get a glimpse of how easy it is to forget your cans and bottles behind you when you leave.

Not only is returning your containers good for the environment, but it also results in better quality materials, helps future generations and creates jobs. It's a small gesture that has a huge impact.

Parc Lafontaine

Once containers are returned to a retailer, they are then transported and sorted before being melted down into raw materials and used to make new items, like backpacks, tents and even different containers.

To determine whether your container is refundable, just look for "Consignée Québec 5¢ Refund" on the product.

Keeping this in mind can help you substantially reduce your eco-footprint. In addition, by returning your refundable containers, you'll be helping cut down on pollution in parks, making them more enjoyable for you.

To find out more about how to return your containers, visit Consignaction's website, Facebook or Instagram.

This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.