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What is the circularity index?

In a world looking for the best solutions to reduce our carbon footprint, hundreds of experts and influencers are working hard every day to find solutions in order to reach the ambitious but absolutely necessary GHG reduction targets to slow down global warming.

This is how Recyc-Québec, in collaboration with Circle Economy (an organization dedicated to the worldwide promotion of the circular economy), produced the first Report on the circularity index of the Quebec economy.

What is the circular economy concretely?

At Cartonnerie Montréal the circular economy is the foundation of our company. In 1940 the Montreal Dairy Exchange is founded by Jean Lanctôt. The company specialized in the sale and purchase of glass bottles used in the pharmaceutical and milk industries.

The circular economy had no name, but the Lanctôt family was able to seize a business opportunity that carried all the values of the circular economy and the desire to reduce the carbon footprint. And in the 1960s, as the dairy industry adopted cardboard containers, the Lanctôt brothers became the leaders in reused cardboard. The boxes gained a second life with reuse before ending up in landfills and later on the recycling markets for a new life as new cardboard.

Here, Cartonnerie Montréal is a perfect example of circular economy. But to go further in the concept, we must understand the cycle of products between the raw material and the ultimate waste.

The circular economy consists in producing goods and services in a sustainable way by limiting the consumption and waste of resources and the production of waste. It is about moving from a throwaway society to a more circular economic model.

This graphic clearly demonstrates that use is the step that determines what the next step will be in the efficient “circulation” of the product or service used.



· Sharing
· Repairing
· Reuse (lightly used box model)
· Refurbish
· Recycle

The choice of circulation method is almost entirely in the hands of the user as long as environmentally friendly solutions can be offered. Many companies and organizations have emerged from this circular economy movement.

In Sweden, there is even a shopping mall entirely dedicated to giving a 2nd and 3rd life to several consumer products all is 100% recycled.

An idea that could well find takers here with all the free commercial spaces.

But what about the circularity index?

Obviously, if we want to achieve concrete results, we need reduction targets and also other measures to evaluate our efforts. Thus, the share of secondary materials in the total consumption of an economy becomes an indicator of circularity.

Quebec has its 1st circularity index in 2021 and its score is rather low at 3.5%, it remains higher than Norway (2.4%), it remains far behind the Netherlands (24.5%). To meet the Paris Agreement goals, we would need a 17% index globally and a 39% reduction in our GHGs by 2032. There is no time to lose!

Our individual and collective role?

You know the cumulative effect? This is how we have systematically shortened the date when the Earth can regenerate from its own resources. A little each day, we have contributed to the accumulation of anti ecological actions, to the repeated aggressions on our environment and to the lack of attention to the ecological balance.

What can we do to reverse the trend and aim for a tangible reduction of our bad habits?

This is the double objective of the circular economy:

  1. Rethink our production and consumption patterns to consume fewer resources and protect the ecosystems that generate them
  2. Optimize the use of resources that already circulate in our societies by :
  • Using products more frequently
  • Extending the life of products and components
  • Giving new life to resources

Every company and individual must take concrete actions to improve the circular economy index. We are proud to make our daily life a tangible advocacy of our contribution to this challenge with you as our customers. For over 80 years, our company has seen this need to do better with our resources.

Thank you for doing it with us!

The Cartonnerie Montreal team

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