One Billion Bottles recycled - an Ontario success story
Monday, December 13th 2010 10:36:26am
Stacked end to end they would reach three quarters of the way to the moon
(Toronto, December 13, 2010) Today, the One Billionth liquor container was returned to The Beer Store under the Bag it Back program, the Ontario government’s highly successful deposit return program for wine, spirit and beer containers sold through LCBO and Ontario winery retail stores.
The Bag it Back milestone was celebrated by a reception committee for the One Billionth Bottle made up of Ontario Environment Minister, John Wilkinson, The Beer Store President, Ted Moroz, and Executive Director of the Conservation Council of Ontario, Chris Winter. They were assisted in selecting the One Billionth Bottle by The Beer Store employee Victoria Trueman from the Bathurst and Dupont Beer Store who helps process incoming beer, wine and spirit containers every day.
Chris Winter delivered a collection of empty liquor containers to The Beer Store mid morning at a time when Beer Store business analysts had calculated the One Billionth container would enter the system. The selection of containers returned included coloured and clear glass wine, spirit and cooler bottles, plastic liquor bottles, tetrapak wine containers, and beer bottles and cans sold through the LCBO.
From all the containers returned, Minister Wilkinson and The Beer Store employee selected a coloured glass wine bottle as the One Billionth Bottle returned. The Bottle was signed by each member of the reception committee and placed in a display container custom-made from Ontario maple in Stratford, Ontario in the Minister’s riding of Perth-Wellington. The remaining containers were set aside and Ted Moroz, President of The Beer Store suggested that Minister Wilkinson and Chris Winter return with the containers in early 2011 and follow them on a tour through the recycling process where they could watch them be re-manufactured into new products. Minister Wilkinson and Mr. Winter gladly accepted the invitation and invited interested media to join them.
Ted Moroz went on to say, “The Bag it Back program has been a tremendous success. Thanks to the participation of Ontario consumers and the dedicated efforts of front line Beer Store employees, the program has met or exceeded its container return rate goals in each of its first three years. Last year, 77 per cent of all containers sold under the program were returned including an impressive 87 per cent of large glass containers, and based on current return rates we’re confident we’ll achieve our 4th year recovery rate goal of 80 per cent.” He went on to say, “A billion bottles and containers recycled is truly an impressive number. If you were to stack them one on top of the other they would reach almost three-quarters of the way to the moon!”
Chris Winter, from the Conservation Council of Ontario, observed, “The Bag it Back program is a real success and a natural and efficient fit with The Beer Store’s very successful beer bottle return program. When the Bag it Back numbers are added to those for The Beer Store’s beer container deposit program, the total system diverts an eye-popping 2.1 billion liquor containers from Ontario landfills each and every year. Deposit return programs clearly work. They not only reduce strain on municipal recycling programs, they ensure that recyclable materials are properly diverted and processed.”
After being introduced by Ted Moroz, Minster Wilkinson complimented The Beer Store staff for their service as the front line workers in the Bag it Back liquor container recycling campaign. He remarked, “The success of Bag it Back proves Ontarians want to do the right thing. It’s just one example of the real and practical things people can do to reduce waste. Together we are building a cleaner, healthier environment for our children and grandchildren.”
For more information go to: http://www.thebeerstore.ca/stewardship2010.pdf.
For interviews, call Don Huff, Environmental Communication Options, 416-805-7720 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ontario Deposit Return Program (ODRP), also known as Bag it Back, was established in February 2007 to increase the collection rate for wine, spirit and beer containers sold through LCBO and Ontario winery retail stores and to direct collected containers to higher order recycling uses. The program operates by charging a refundable deposit on each alcoholic beverage container sold in the province. This deposit is returned to the consumer when they return the empty container to any one of The Beer Store’s 775 container redemption facilities. Upon collection containers are sorted and delivered to contracted processors who prepare them for sale to end-market recycling uses
Bag it Back -- One Billionth Bottle Returned Milestone
• The Bag it Back program, also known as the Ontario Deposit Return Program (ODRP) was commenced on February 5, 2007. It is currently in its fourth year of operation.
• The program covers all wine, spirit and cooler containers greater than 100ml in size sold through LCBO stores and Ontario winery retail stores, and beer containers greater than 100 ml in size sold exclusively through the LCBO.
• Under the program, consumers pay a refundable deposit at the time purchase. The deposit is refunded when the empty container is returned to The Beer Store.
• Containers (other than cans) less than or equal to 630ml in size are subject to a 10 cent deposit and containers (other than cans) greater than 630 ml are subject to a 20 cent deposit. Cans less than or equal to 1 litre in size are subject to a 10 cent per container deposit and cans greater than 1 litre are subject to a 20 cent container deposit.
• Empty containers and all secondary packaging (i.e. boxes, bags etc.) can be returned to any one of 775 Beer Store redemption facilities including Beer Store corporately operated retail outlets, Beer Store Retail Partners, LCBO Agency Stores and Beer Store contracted empty bottle dealers in rural Ontario.
• Bars and restaurants may also return empty containers and associated secondary packaged to The Beer Store or have them picked up by The Beer Store free of charge when The Beer Store is making its regular beer deliveries and empty beer container pick-ups.
• The Beer Store is the contracted service provider to the Province of Ontario for the program. It has a five-year contract to manage the province-wide collection of all containers under the program and to arrange for their recycling.
• In 2009 – 2010 (April 25/09 – April 24/10), approximately 355 million containers were sold under the program and approximately 274 million were returned for an overall collection rate of 77 per cent. In 2007/08 the collection rate for the program was 67 per cent, in 2008/09 the collection rate was 73 per cent.
• Glass containers, which represent 76 per cent of all containers sold under the program had a 2009/10 recovery rate of 80 per cent. Large glass containers (i.e. those over 630ml) which represent your typical wine or spirit bottle had the highest recovery rate at 87 per cent.
• Collected containers are prepared for recycling by Beer Store contracted processors and the various materials are recycled to the following uses:
o Clear glass: Recycled into new glass bottles, primarily at the Owens-Illinois glass container manufacturing plant in Brampton, Ontario;
o Coloured Glass: Recycled into new coloured glass bottles and fiberglass;
o Aluminum Cans: Recycled into new aluminum sheet which can be used to make new aluminum cans;
o Plastic Bottles: Recycled into plastic strapping and felted automotive parts and miscellaneous plastic products.
• The Bag it Back program is operated in parallel to The Beer Store’s long-standing deposit return program for empty beer containers. This program has operated continuously since 1927 (83 years).
• Under The Beer Store’s beer container deposit program all beer containers are subject to refundable 10 cent or 20 cent per container deposits.
• In 2009/10 (May 1/09 – April 30/10) approximately 1.95 billion beer containers were sold under The Beer Store’s beer container deposit program and 1.85 billion were returned, either for reuse or recycling, representing a 95 per cent return rate.
• Under the combined Bag it Back and Beer Store beer container deposit systems more than 2.3 billion alcohol containers are sold with a deposit each year and more than 2.1 billion are returned for a combined recovery rate of 92 per cent.
• In 2009/10 the weight of beverage alcohol packaging collected for recycling through The Beer Store was 493,579 tonnes. This is equal to 56 per cent of all the newspaper, printed paper and consumer packaging collected in the entire Ontario Blue Box program.
• The recycling activities under the two deposit programs resulted in 174,292 tonnes of avoided green house gas emissions. This is equivalent to removing 33,325 cars from the road each year.
• Total energy savings due to the two programs exceeded 2.9 million Gigajoules which is equivalent to the energy contained in 477,453 barrels of oil.