Monday, March 05, 2007

The LCBO's Deposit Return Program

Ontario's liquor retailer, the LCBO, recently slapped a 10 to 20 cent deposit on containers it sells. To redeem the deposit we must take the containers (mostly glass bottles) back to an Ontario Beer Store, which recycles them. The LCBO states the following reasons for the program:

- it will free up space in Blue Boxes, giving municipalities room to expand their recycling programs
- bagging empties back will help recycle 80 million containers a year that currently don't get recycled

It seems a bit bizarre that we need an alternative to blue boxes so that we can put other stuff in blue boxes. Anyone who has a problem with the capacity of their blue box can get a second blue box... or a third.

The LCBO's deposit return program increases pollution by:

- forcing people to drive to a beer store to return bottles, instead of efficiently putting them in a blue box on the curb with their garbage.
- providing special "bag it" bags that are made of extra-heavy plastic for us to return our containers in.

The program doesn't answer the real issue that, due to the cost of glass recycling, only 30% of bottles that go into recycling programs are actually recycled.

The program increases pollution and doesn't help recycling. What it does do is fob off those who are asking the LCBO to provide a real solution - refillable bottles. It protects their business from environmentalists who question the waste of one-use glass bottles and it provides them with a nice chunk of change from all the deposits they get to pocket.

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4 comments:

\m/ said...

Do you even know what the hell you are talking about? Is there a point buried somewhere in this hapless, messy writing?

Refillable bottles at the liquor store? So some sort of bring-your-own-mug system? Cool, cool. Pass the joint.

What the LCBO is doing is long overdue. The more recycling goes on the better. Even if only 30% of the shit gets used, it's going to make a difference.

Your criticism is funny at best. You don't have to hate it; just say what you feel.

Vince Riccio said...

Three things:

As an LCBO employee I can tell you that:

A) Deposits are on ALL bottles and containers; except mini's

and

B) You do not need the blue bag as advertised on commercials and literature. The bags are only promotional in nature. You can bring it back in a box if you want even.

and

C) Response for the program has been very positive

Vince Riccio

Yappa said...

To \m/:

Refillable bottles are not an impossible idea. We don't have to refill all bottles (that would be impossible). We just need to start supplying the option of refillable bottles. For example, a standard refillable bottle could be selected. Some Canadian wineries and bottlers would choose to use it. (Some foreign wine is imported in large containers and bottled in Canada.)

Consumers would have the option to buy wine in refillable or standard toss-away bottles. People like me would try to use refillable bottles as much as possible, and would contact wineries/bottlers and ask them to provide their product in it. Having a refillable bottle would become a competitive advantage, and more producers would move to it. Some foreign wineries who ship to Canada might even start using it for Canadian shipments - who knows? It would never be used by every wine in the LCBO, or even by half, but it would still cut down enormously on the waste of one-use wine bottles.

Anonymous said...

It's no more than another tax grab. Charging a deposit for the return of a container only makes sense when it can be returned to the point of purchase. I'm not going to make a seperate trip to another retail outlet to return something I didn't obtain there. It's complete insanity to think people are going to do this enough to make any impact to the environment.