Coca-Cola has acquiesced to demands from Quebec’s Sustainable Development Minister Thomas Mulcair that the company reinstate a five-cent deposit on the company’s non-carbonated soft drinks. Quebec law currently forces companies to pay a return fee on their beer and carbonated drink cans. Companies that produce non-carbonated drinks such as iced tea were part of the recycling consignment system voluntarily. But the Coca Cola corporation decided unitarily to pull out of the system.
Coke had argued that it wants to “make life easier” for customers and stores, and expected people to put their cans in domestic recycling boxes for regular pick up. Sustainable Development Minister Thomas Mulcair said that’s not good enough and called the decision to remove the five cent consignment fee unacceptable. Eventually his threat to legislate the company into compliance caused Coca-Cola to drop its plan.
“It’s extremely difficult to understand how a serious company like Coca Cola can do something like this in 2006,” Mulcair says, adding that he believes Coke is trying to present the province with a done deal. But he says he will take action if necessary.
Mulcair said Ontario, which does not have the return fee policy, has a much lower rate of recycling for cans than Quebec.
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