Prince Edward Island’s government has lifted its ban on the sale of carbonated beverage in non-refillable containers. In its place, the Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry is implementing a program of deposit and return for all beverage containers (except dairy containers) sold at Island retailers.
“There has been a strong consumer demand over the years for beverages sold in a variety of types of container — metal, plastic, glass or carton. This system allows those containers to be available while giving the consumer an incentive to bring the container back for recycling,” said George Webster, Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry.
“This province already has Canada’s best recycling system and great cooperation from Islanders in making sure recyclables are dealt with responsibly. That allows Prince Edward Island to handle a greater variety of containers without a negative environmental impact.”
With the introduction of the Beverage Container Act in the legislature, the government has lifted restrictions on the types of beverage containers sold in Prince Edward Island. Grocers and beverage distributors have indicated that they expect to have the new products widely available.
Under the new system — which came into effect May 3 — consumers will pay a 10 cent deposit on each beverage container they purchase and receive a five cent refund for each container when it is returned to one of the 10 licensed Container Recycling Depots located across the province. For alcoholic beverage containers larger than 500 millilitres, there will be a 20 cent deposit levied and a 10 cent refund available when the container is returned to a depot.
As of May 3, retail stores will no longer accept returned beverage containers or pay refunds.
The deposit and return system will apply to all ready-to-drink beverage containers except those used for dairy products, milk substitutes or nutritional supplements.
Two and a half cents from each container will be used to fund environmental work carried out by the Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry. The remaining two and a half cents will be used to pay for system administration.
“The environment funds will make sure that the deposits paid by consumers are used to carry out beneficial environmental projects — including pollution prevention and watershed protection,” said Minister Webster.
Government estimates that Prince Edward Island’s new Beverage Container Management System will process approximately 50 million recyclable containers and 18 million refillable containers each year.