Solid Waste & Recycling


Beer deposit/return saves ON municipalities $60-million

A recently released report indicates that the Ontario beer industry's recovery, re-use and recycling program will d...

A recently released report indicates that the Ontario beer industry’s recovery, re-use and recycling program will divert 550,000 tonnes of beer packaging in the province this year and save municipalities more than $60-million annually in landfill and Blue Box recycling costs.

The audited report, “Re-use and Recycling Achievement 2002-2003,” was compiled by the beer industry and submitted to Waste Diversion Ontario, a multi-stakeholder non-government corporation that develops, implements and operates waste diversion programs.

The report indicates that the industry’s deposit/refund-based system accounts for 44 per cent (550,000 tonnes of 1,250,000 tonnes) of all municipal waste diverted from landfill in Ontario. Highlights of the packaging recovery performance include a system-wide recovery and re-use rate of 97 per cent for the industry standard refillable bottle and a 95 per cent recovery and recycling rate for boxboard and corrugated packaging. The data shows that the beer industry is the largest single contributor to waste diversion in Ontario.

However, the report also highlights areas for improvement. While the recovery rate for refillable domestic beer bottles is 97 per cent, the overall recovery rate for non-refillable bottles, comprised almost solely of imported products (the fastest growing market segment) is only 48 per cent.

Jeff Newton, president and CEO of the Brewers of Canada says the lower recovery rate for imported beer bottles can be addressed through an extension of deposits to all imported beer containers and by improved consumer education. The beer industry is working with the LCBO on options for improving the recovery rate for non-refillable beer containers and its associated packaging.

The report, which was prepared as part of a statutory requirement under Ontario’s Waste Diversion Act 2002, emphasizes the importance of recovering beer packaging to meet the Ontario government’s goal of diverting 60 per cent waste diversion from landfill by 2008.

Containers sold by The Beer Store (the equivalent of about two billion single servings) carries a deposit ranging from $0.10 from the smallest beer can to $50.00 for the largest draught kegs. All listed containers and associated packaging (cartons, bottle caps, etc.) are returnable to the retail stores, Retail Partners and empty bottle dealers, or are recovered by The Beer Store from its licensee customers. In 1991, The Beer Store set an objective of recovering 100 per cent of the packaging it sells.

To read the report, visit:

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