The government of Prince Edward Island has announced that canned soft drinks and canned beer will be allowed for retail sale in the province. Soft drinks sold in cans has been prohibited since March 1, 1984 and canned beer has been banned since July 1, 1973.
Regulatory changes will allow certain brands of soft drinks to be sold both in cans and plastic bottles in January 2008. Canned beer could be available as soon as this summer.
Environmentalists consider plastic and metal containers regressive. Even if theyre recycled, the energy profile of single-serve containers compares unfavorably with refillables, which can make more than 17 round trips. PEI, an island, has also traditionally seen its ban as a way to protect local jobs in beverage refilling plants.
There is a catch. Only producers who also sell their pop in refillable glass will be able to introduce cans and plastic bottles. Fifty per cent of shelf space will be set aside for the refillables. This means that producers like Coke and Pepsi will be able to sell soft drinks in PEI, but not such products as no-name brands available elsewhere at stores like Sobeys, Atlantic Superstore and Wal-Mart.