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An idea for the province to encourage plastic bottle recycling

I don’t have an article in the news to cite this as it was a story broadcast on the local London Ontario news, but there is an interesting idea being pitched by some in the City of London as a way to increase the # of plastic bottles being recycled and returned by the public.

Currently, it is estimated by London that 1/3 of plastic bottles don’t get properly recycled by their city residents and instead get thrown into the garbage and end up in landfill sites. Some there are proposing the way to help increase the # of bottle being returned for recycling is for the province of Ontario to  copy what the province of Alberta does (yes, they do have some green programs there) and offer a deposit for returning plastic bottles. The rate in Alberta is 5 cents for bottles 1 litre and under, and 20 cents a bottle for anything over a litre.  The program has estimated to help bring 80% of plastic bottles back in for recycling.

This isn’t anything that novel; Ontario already does this for beer and wine and liquor bottles, so why not also for this? I don’t doubt the waste rate for plastic bottle is pretty high in other cities besides London, and if people have an incentive to return their bottles, I think this will help out the return rate immensely, and cut down on all the plastic bottles ending up in provincial landfills.

I think its a great idea that some in the city of London have come up with. They are going to try and convince the Dalton McGuinty government that this is the way to go, and I think they have a convert to their cause tonight.  I’d urge the Premier and his government to take a serious look at this proposal.


3 comments to An idea for the province to encourage plastic bottle recycling

  • Me Dere Robert

    “On pretty much all initiatives except green house emissions Alberta is a relative leader in environmental stewardship.”

    hah.. if you want to see environmental stewardship come to NS. We’ve been doing this stuff for years.. we’re way ahead. We’ve got clear garbage bags to make sure you recycle and we sort everything.

    I think we started giving deposits for plastic bottles in the late 90’s.

  • In Ontario, the Blue Box program was developed out of industry lobbying to not have a deposit system. We’ve kept to that model ever since.

    Tetra-packs are a mess to try to recycle (those wines ones are paper, aluminum and plastic bonded together), but despite that problem, they were lobbied to be added to the Blue Box successfully. That placed more stress on the program.

    Many greens see a simple answer to this mess: all packaging should go back to source for recycling. In principle, the manufacturers will be encouraged to produce more enviro-friendly packaging out of a desire to save reclamation and recycling costs.

  • Kyle

    Yeah, no one in Alberta complains about this, it also applies on tetra-packs (juice boxes), gable top containers for beverages other than milk (like tropicana orange juice) and all beverage cans.

    The province has also said if plastic milk container recycling doesn’t get to 80% they will add a deposit to it.

    Its a program I have never understood Ontario’s reluctance to embrace.

    The program is funded by an environmental levy on all deposit containers that the recycling depots (private businesses) collect when containers are turned in.

    On pretty much all initiatives except green house emissions Alberta is a relative leader in environmental stewardship.

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