Recycling Product News Logo

This ad will close in 15 seconds

New study finds introduction of deposit on non-alcoholic beverages in Ontario will increase recycling and save millions

The report provides an analysis of an enhanced recycling system that would deliver on the ambition of Ontario'sResource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, passed in 2016, to shift the responsibility of recycling from taxpayers to producers.
The report provides an analysis of an enhanced recycling system that would deliver on the ambition of Ontario'sResource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, passed in 2016, to shift the responsibility of recycling from taxpayers to producers.

A newly released report, Better Together: How a Deposit Return System will Complement Ontario's Blue Box Program and Enhance the Circular Economy, has found that a 15-cent returnable deposit on non-alcoholic beverage containers in the province would result in over 90% of non-alcoholic beverage containers being collected for recycling. The report was commissioned by circular economy not-for-profit Reloop, and authored by international environmental consultancy Eunomia Research & Consulting. According to the report, the deposit program would not only divert waste from landfill but also reduce beverage container-related litter by around 80%.

The report provides an analysis of an enhanced recycling system that would deliver on the ambition of Ontario's Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, passed in 2016, to shift the responsibility of recycling from taxpayers to producers. The proposed system for Ontario would work alongside the existing Blue Box program to increase recycling rates across the province.

The study estimates that introducing a deposit system for non-alcoholic beverage containers would cost $34 millionannually, resulting in a cost of less than a penny ($0.0091) per container returned. Overall, however, the system would generate savings of $12 million, provided that the DRS was combined with an optimized Blue Box program.

Operating an optimized Blue Box program alongside a convenient deposit program for non-alcoholic beverages would reduce the overall cost per tonne of material recycled from $314 to $269 and push up Ontario's packaging recycling rate to around 74% from just under 65% today.

A recent report from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Reducing Litter and Waste in our Communities (March 2019), included DRS as a potential solution to reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill across the province. DRSs have been proven to reduce roadside litter, increase recycling and increase the supply of recycled material for use in future products. Ontario has been running a successful deposit program for alcoholic beverages through The Beer Store for decades. The proposed system for non-alcoholic beverage containers would supplement this system.

Recent developments internationally have seen a push for higher recycling rates, with the European Union setting the goal of 90% collection for recycling of plastic beverage containers under their new Single Use Plastics Directive. This commitment to addressing plastic pollution was echoed by the Canadian Prime Minister who announced on June 10, a commitment to addressing harmful single use plastics through introduction of bans and collection targets by 2021.

Clarissa Morawski, Managing Director of Reloop, said: "for over a decade Ontario's container packaging rates have stagnated with a collection rate below 60%, and under 50% when you consider losses which occur after collection. Clearly the existing system needs a boost and DRS is a proven solution, with many global examples of efficiency and highly popular with consumers. This is likely why many European countries which also have comprehensive household recycling are adding DRS to the mix of their resource collection strategies."

Sarah Edwards, head of Eunomia's New York office and one of the report authors, said: "the deposit program for non-alcoholic beverage containers has been designed to complement the current Blue Box and deposit program for alcoholic beverages. It is based on producers taking a lead on implementing a program that will be convenient for consumers and deliver high recycling rates at least cost."

Vito Buonsante, Plastics Program Manager of environmental not-for-profit Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca) said:

"Deposit return programs work. Every year in Ontario more than 1.5 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills or the environment because we don't have an effective system in place for capturing them. This is unacceptable. This report clearly shows that the best and cheapest way to improve the province's lagging recycling rate is by introducing a deposit return program for plastic bottles. It's no coincidence that return rates on wine and liquor bottles increased by about 20 per cent after they were added to The Beer Store's deposit program. The same is achievable for plastic bottles."

Chelsea Rochman and Stephanie Borrelle from the Plastic Pollutions Emissions Working Group at the University of Toronto, said:

"Examples from around the world show that effectively run deposit refund schemes (DRS) increase recovery of plastic materials significantly. DRSs simultaneously keep plastics out of the environment and drive up the value of recovered plastic material, thus generating capital that can be used to fund collection and recycling infrastructure that is desperately needed to manage the volume of plastic waste that is generated every year. Ontario has a goal to reduce waste by 50% per person by 2040 - this equates to approximately 100kg of plastic waste - or 7500 plastic water bottles. 

To help achieve Ontario's reduction goal, a suite of strategies are needed and DRS is an effective strategy to help keep millions of plastic bottles out of landfill, exported offshore (where the majority does not get recycled), and out of the environment. DRSs not only contribute to the recovery of plastic materials for recycling, but also generate important data that is needed to evaluate where plastic waste is being diverted, and if reductions are being achieved. For the Plastic Pollution Emissions Working Group, such data are crucial for our work, which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation strategies for reducing plastic pollution."

The report, 'Better Together: How a Deposit Return System will Complement Ontario's Blue Box Program and Enhance the Circular Economy', will be available to download for free on Reloop and Eunomia's websites on Thursday June 13, 2019.

Key figures

  • The proposed system is based on a 15-cent deposit for non-alcoholic beverage containers, which is expected to result in collection of over 90% of eligible containers.
  • This report shows that adding a deposit return system (DRS) for non-alcoholic beverage containers to complement an optimized Blue Box program in Ontario, would recycle an additional 118,000 tonnes of materials every year, and save over $12 million overall.
  • The DRS would cost $34 million annually, with each container returned costing less than a penny ($0.0091 per container returned and $0.0082 per container sold in Ontario) making it one of the most cost-efficient deposit return systems across Canada.
  • Operating an optimized Blue Box program alongside a convenient deposit program for non-alcoholic beverages would reduce the overall cost per tonne of material recycled from $314 to $269 per tonne and push up Ontario'spackaging recycling rate to around 74%. This excludes material collected through Ontario's existing Deposit Return Program that already covers alcoholic beverages.
  • Ontario is one of only two provinces without a deposit on non-alcoholic beverages
  • The proposed system will provide over 2,800 return points making it one of the most convenient DRS of any program in Canada.
  • Adding a deposit return system to complement Ontario's Blue Box recycling program would:
    • Generate 1,500 more direct, indirect and induced jobs in Ontario
    • Reduce CO2 GHG emissions by nearly 50,000 tonnes per year (equivalent to about 90,000 people taking a one-way flight from Toronto to Vancouver)
    • Reduce beverage container litter by around 80%, contributing to addressing the 10,000 tonnes of plastic waste that pollutes the Great Lakes every year.
  • The report includes a thorough proposal for a Deposit Return System that delivers on existing commitments from the Ontario government to shift the responsibility of recycling from taxpayers to producers (through the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act of 2016).

Eunomia's work on DRS

More from Industry News

Sierra Recycling & Demolition celebrates 60 years

Celebrating their 60th year of commitment and service to their customers and the recycling industry, Sierra Recycling & Demolition was started by Ben Sacco in 1959. Now the sister company of Sierra International Machinery, the California-based recycling equipment specialist, Sierra has deep roots in recycling, and they have for 60 years. Based on this foundation, Sierra International Machinery states: "Our equipment is designed by recyclers for recyclers. At Sierra, we have the same experiences and challenges that other recyclers have, and we know the problems and the issues other recyclers face. We use the experiences from Sierra Recycling and Demolition, our engineers, operation managers, and service technicians to produce superior machines that we actively use in our own yard."

World’s first zero waste adventure kicking off in Yellowstone National Park

Beginning July 6, 2019, America's first national park will be the setting for another historic innovation: the World's First Zero Waste Adventure, created by Natural Habitat Adventures (Nat Hab). Kicking off in Bozeman, MT and moving through the northern region of Yellowstone National Park this first-ever waste-conscious endeavor will attempt to divert (refuse, recycle, compost, upcycle, or re-use) 99 percent or more of all waste produced as part of Nat Hab-sponsored trip operations.* Fourteen travellers will participate, guided by two naturalist Expedition Leaders.

Enerkem remembers Vincent Chornet

The management of Enerkem is sad to announce the passing of Enerkem Cofounder and Executive Chairman Vincent Chornet at the age of 45, following a prolonged illness. Faithful to himself, he fought this terrible disease with the passion and determination that we know him for. He has been active even in the last moments, exchanging emails last week with different members of his team. In recent months, he has continued to chair Enerkem's Board of Directors, with the best interests of the company at heart.

Moore & Associates remembers Jerry Rose, 50-year paper and recycling industry veteran

Jerry Rose, 84, of Stamford, CT, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 22, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. A 50-year veteran of the paper and recycling industries, Jerry was a respected expert in the business and held several senior management positions before becoming a consultant. Jerry was a legend in the industry, with a wealth of knowledge and friends in every corner of the business. 

Waste Management unveils innovative Driver & Technician Training Center supporting ‘safety, people first culture’

Waste Management (WM) introduced its second Driver and Technician Training Center in Glendale, Arizona today complementing its first Center in Fort Myers, Florida. The Arizona Training Center extends the Company's commitment to providing centralized training for drivers and technicians across the North American enterprise.

free-paper-airplane

Get our newsletter

Learn more

2019 China Recovered Paper Market & Policy Advisory Report available

A new report from NPC Partners is now available in the U.S. and Europe through Atlanta-based paper recycling consulting firm Moore & Associates. NPC Partners is a global consultancy based in Hong Kong with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Atlanta. NPC Partners is committed to assisting the pulp and paper industry innovate and grow based on winning strategies and new market insights.

​Upgraded used oil recycling facility now open in West Chilcotin, B.C.

Improved used oil recycling facilities provide an easy, free and environmentally-friendly way for communities to dispose of materials. BC Used Oil Management Association ("BCUOMA"), a not-for-profit group dedicated to the collection and recycling of lubricating oil, oil filters, oil containers, antifreeze and antifreeze containers in British Columbia, has announced that the Cariboo Regional District has upgraded their used oil recycling facility located at the West Chilcotin Landfill - 21731 Chilcotin Hwy 20, West Chilcotin. This new facility will provide the residents in the surrounding areas, with an easy, free and eco-friendly way to dispose of their used oil and antifreeze materials.

EDC provides loan to help Canadian cleantech company Ecolomondo reduce hydrocarbon waste in landfills

As part of its commitment to help innovative Canadian cleantech companies scale-up and export, Export Development Canada (EDC) is pleased to announce its support for Ecolomondo, with a $32.1 million project finance loan. The loan will allow the company to build its first commercial plant that will treat end-of-life tires, in Hawkesbury, Ontario, creating approximately 40 direct jobs and bringing substantial economic benefits to the region.

Mondi introduces recyclable packaging film for fresh and processed food

Flexible food packaging has traditionally presented brand owners with a choice -- either extract the maximum performance parameters or make it fully recyclable. Achieving both goals at once has been almost impossible... until now, according to Mondi, a global leader in sustainable paper and packaging solutions. The company has created a recyclable polypropylene film that is ideal for the thermoforming of flexible films for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and vacuum packaging, which is known for its ability to extend the shelf life of products such as meat and cheese.

California Product Stewardship Council lauds Canadian government initiative on plastics

The California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) shared the above video and the New York Times article below with their members and stakeholders this week, stating: "We wanted to share with you a short yet powerful video and article about the Canadian Prime Minister's announcement that they are taking on plastics, will push forward with Enhanced Producer Responsibility for all plastics, and will put a single-use plastic ban in place by 2021.  We are energized by this video and, with your support, will continue to push California forward as part of this movement.  The time is now!"

Indonesia to use ISRI Specs to ease restrictions on recovered paper imports

Last month, in an effort to crack down on illegal shipments, the Indonesian government imposed new regulations on imports of recovered paper. The rules included a 0.5% contamination limit and 100% pre-shipment inspections, including separating containers into bales. The government has now announced that it will instead use the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) specifications for recovered paper which set a standard of 1-2% for prohibitives and 3-4% for outhrows. It is also using the specifications to define its use of the word "homogenous" in describing the condition of bales.

​Provincial waste reduction organizations support Canadian plan to reduce plastic waste

Four of Canada's major provincial waste reduction and recycling organizations (Recycling Council of BC, Recycling Council of Alberta, Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council and Recycling Council of Ontario) have announced their official support for the Government of Canada's announcement regarding plans to reduce Canada's plastic waste, support innovation, and promote the use of affordable and safe alternatives.

Two Ontario municipalities launch residential polystyrene recycling thanks to municipal/industry partnership

Polystyrene foam recycling has returned to the Towns of Brockton and Hanover, as of the end of May 2019. The Chair of Brockton's Environmental Advisory Committee, Bruce Davidson, anticipates that residents have been saving foam packaging for a while in the hopes that recycling opportunities would resume. 

New Way recognizes 2018 dealer accomplishments

Each year, New Way Trucks, an industry-leading refuse truck manufacturer, acknowledges the sales success generated by members of their authorized dealer network with a prestigious Top Ten Dealer Award. These awards are proudly presented as a way of showing gratitude for the sales achievements made by the top performing dealers and their sales teams. New Way has an extensive network of dealers located throughout the United States as well as internationally. 

free-magazine-subscription

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

Vancouver students perform concert in partnership with BC Used Oil Management Association

BC Used Oil Management Association ("BCUOMA"), a not-for-profit group dedicated to the collection and recycling of lubricating oil, oil filters, oil containers, antifreeze and antifreeze containers in British Columbia, recently partnered with ARTish Response Team ("ART") on the 4th annual "Rock The Salish Sea!" Concert Series. Students from Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School in Vancouver performed the "Rock the Salish Sea" concert on June 6, 2019 at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary, 449 E. 62nd Ave, Vancouver, BC. 

California assembly approves ambitious measure to cut packaging and plastic waste by 75 percent

Acknowledging the worldwide environmental devastation and health problems wrought by plastic and non-recycled trash, both houses of the California State Legislature have now approved identical first-of-their-kind measures to dramatically reduce plastic and packaging waste and jumpstart the in-state clean recycling economy.

Terrapure Environmental acquires leading environmental services business in Greater Montreal

Terrapure Environmental ("Terrapure"), a leading Canadian environmental solutions provider to industry, has announced it has acquired RSR Environnement ("RSR") of Vercheres, QC. The purchase includes vehicles and equipment, as well as RSR's employees and existing customer relationships. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Canada's chemistry and plastics industries making strides to tackle plastic waste

In celebration of Environment Week in Canada (during the week of June 5th annually) the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) highlighted the important headway their members are making in tackling the global challenge of plastic waste in the environment.

Federal government called on to take immediate action on plastic waste

Twelve leading ocean conservancy and environmental groups have requested that Canada's environment and health ministers take immediate regulatory action on plastic waste and pollution, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999,and call on the Government of Canada to add any plastic generated as a waste, or discharged from the use or disposal of products or packaging, to the Schedule 1 List of Toxic Substances under CEPA. 

Mondi accelerates efforts to create flexible packaging from post-consumer recycled plastic

Mondi Group, a global leader in packaging and paper, led Project Proof, a Pioneer Project facilitated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF). The project has created a proof-of-concept prototype flexible plastic pouch incorporating a minimum of 20% post-consumer plastic waste originating from mixed household waste. The pouch is suitable for packaging household products such as detergent. 

free-paper-airplane

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Polystyrene foam recycling returns to Ontario communities thanks to multi-sector partnership

May 30th was a "remarkable day in the history of recycling in Brockton and Hanover", according to the Chair of Brockton's Environmental Advisory Committee, Bruce Davidson, who performed the master of ceremony duties at an event to announce that polystyrene (plastic foam) recycling is returning to Brockton and Hanover municipal recycling programs.

VIZIO receives distinguished e-Stewards enterprise designation

VIZIO, a manufacturer of high-definition televisions (HDTVs) recently joined the elite list of e-Stewards® Enterprise companies. e-Stewards Enterprises are corporations and institutions committed to using the world's most globally responsible electronics recycling companies that are certified to the e-Stewards Standard. The e-Stewards standard is the only electronic waste recycling and refurbishment standard that disallows exporting hazardous electronic waste to developing countries and employs the most rigorous criteria to prevent data breaches from discarded hardware.

R&M International receives presidential award for exports

In May, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented R&M International with the President's "E" Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Secretary Ross honoured a select group of U.S. companies with the President's "E" Award, the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

TOMRA'S Frank Van de Winkel to participate on Harbour Aluminum Summit Market Outlook Panel

Frank van de Winkel, business development manager for TOMRA Sorting Recycling, will participate in a panel discussion during Harbor's 12th Aluminum Outlook Summit, held June 4-6, 2019, at Chicago's Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. The Session 5 panel discussion will focus on North America's aluminum scrap & secondary market outlook, diving deep into emerging trends and market challenges. The session will take place in the Radisson's Atlantic Ballroom, starting at 8:25 a.m. on Thursday, June 6. 

Q&A with Robin Wiener

Many North American recycling businesses rely on the hard work of industry associations to help ward off burdensome legislation. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) in the U.S. and the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries(CARI) in Canada provide members with educational resources, networking opportunities and advocacy muscle at home and abroad. These associations also have a long history of collaborating with one another to combat common issues. 

free-magazine-subscription

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more