I just wanted to comment on the idea of the deposit-return for a single company’s water bottles. While I agree that deposit-return is a good thing, it is something that has to be all or nothing; particularly for water bottles. There are a couple of reasons I say this:
1) Unless all water companies are required to implement deposit-return, Canadian Springs will put themselves at a competitive disadvantage price-wise. The unfortunate reality for most consumers is that price is king, so they will buy the least expensive.
2) Deposit-return is not as convenient and many consumers will simply toss the bottle into the blue box, rather than return it to the vendor. The municipalities would have to not pick up any plastic bottles for the deposit-return to effectively work, as the collection crews would not be able to selectively separate one bottle from another in the process.
3) If Canadian Springs implements deposit-return, they will likely not have to pay stewards fees for the Blue box, and then municipalities would be in the same boat we’re now with LCBO containers. We have about 40 per cent of the LCBO containers in the blue box and are still obligated to collect them under the current regulations with respect to glass containers, yet we will lose our funding this coming year. LCBO comes out a double winner as they collect and keep the deposit for almost half the containers and the municipalities and other stewards pick up the tab.
Aside from a fundamental disagreement that bottled water undermines public confidence in municipal water supplies and fosters energy consumption to package something that is commonly and safely available for far less cost (with no packaging), I find the deposit-return proposal by Canadian Springs to be a brilliant public relations coup, but little else.
Waste Diversion Project Coordinator
Solid Waste Branch, Waste Diversion & Planning City of Ottawa