Une main qui tient la Terre avec un masqueToday, April 22, is Earth Day. CUPE Quebec’s environment committee is continuing its work to promote awareness and to make progress on environmental and climate change issues, which have been largely overlooked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the committee has been focussing directly on an issue related to the pandemic – disposable masks and how to recycle them. Millions of masks have been used in the past year and most are sent to the dump. Others are simply dropped in the street.

The environment committee urges all locals and employers to participate in the program created by Go Zero in Magog, Quebec. This company uses a simple, effective, and inexpensive method to disinfect and recycle various types of masks, which will then be used to create new recyclable and useful products.

Many CUPE locals are participating in the program, including CUPE 1500, Hydro-Québec, and CUPE 4708, la Régie intermunicipale de police Thérèse-de-Blainville, which has launched a joint project with the employer. CUPE 1208, the Syndicat des cols bleus du Centre de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys is also preparing a mask recycling plan.

In a broader context, the committee also encourages all CUPE locals to take part in the CUPE national initiative by signing the climate change declaration

The environment committee will be very active in 2021. Its chair, Emmanuël Patola, will be taking part in a CUPE radio show on CHIA FM to discuss the work to be done.