Beginning Oct. 1st, all Return-It depots will be changing deposits on beverage containers over 1 litre from 20 cents to 10 cents.
Deposits are charged when a beverage container is purchased and are returned in full when customers bring back the empty container for recycling.
A transition period will be in place between Oct. 1 until Oct. 11, which will see depots refunding 20¢ for every acceptable beverage container over 1 litre.
Starting Oct. 12, people will be charged the unified deposit of 10 cents for all beverage containers covered by the Return-It system, and refunded 10 cents upon return.
Allen Langdon, president and CEO of Return-It, said this will simplify the overall system and make it easier to recycle beverage containers — regardless of size.
”We are moving forward with this change now because we believe it will simplify the overall system. It will make it easier for people calculating in their head and ultimately limit sorting and the work that has to be done by employees,” Langdon said.
Savannah Paine, owner of Willowbrook Recycling, thinks the “10 cent across the board“ deposit is easier to calculate but it isn’t likely to motivate higher bottle recovery rates.
“I certainly hope it doesn’t affect anyone so much that they don’t bother returning bottles. It’s so important for the environment,” Paine said. “I think it would be better if we followed the success in Germany and other countries with a 25 cent deposit. However, in 2022, milk containers will be included the deposit system and the return volumes should increase significantly.”
Types of containers that will have their deposits changed to 10 cents include plastics, gable tops, glass, bi-metal, and bag-in-a-box that are all over 1 litre.
Langdon estimates it will account of roughly six per cent of items that Return-It users typically bring to the facilities.
Return-It depots previous increased their deposit rate from 5 cents to 10 cents for all ready-to-drink beverage containers up to and including 1 litre in size in November of 2019.
“Right now, I’m most concerned with the affects on the homeless population as they rely on the deposit refunds as their livelihood,” Paine added. “We need the public to be aware of the issues with B.C.’s Extended Producer Responsible system and to contact their local government to promote the changes they want for the container deposits and the future of recycling.”
People can find out more information on recycling changes at www.return-it.ca/beverage/recycling/onedeposit.
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