Every day, consumers play a major role in Canada's largest beverage container recycling program, ensuring glass bottles are re-used and millions of cans and other bottles are recycled rather than sent to landfill. This may sound like blue box collections, but it's not. This environmental initiative is The Beer Store's deposit return program for taking back beer bottles and cans, as well as, since 2007, wine and spirit containers through the Ontario Deposit Return Program (operated on behalf of the Ontario government).
If you didn't know this, you're not alone. This 85-year-old deposit return program is such a routine part of Ontario beer drinker's experience it's easy to take for granted, but The Beer Store management is trying to fix this. Available now at www.thebeerstore.ca is their annual stewardship report. It is full of facts about the voluntary, industry-funded deposit return system over the past 85 years of operation.
For example, did you know taking back empties is older than sliced bread? Or, that most beer bottles are actually re-used an average of 15 times? How about the fact that 94% of the almost 2 billion beer containers sold in Ontario in 2011-2012 were recovered and either refilled or recycled?
“Environmental leadership is one of our core values; we were green before green was cool,” says Ted Moroz, president of The Beer Store. “With this year's report, we wanted Ontarians to know more about the program and the significant environmental results we have achieved, with their participation.”
Perhaps the only Ontario retailer that takes back all packaging it sells (including plastic bags and cardboard cases), The Beer Store now recovers over 2.1 billion alcohol bottles, cans and kegs each year.
The scale of the program is impressive, but one number certainly stands out from the others: because the system is paid for by industry, The Beer Store's program saves Ontario taxpayers over $40 million annually. That figure alone should encourage everyone to make many more happy returns.www.newscanada.com