Over a Billion reasons why Ontario needs a Deposit on Bottles and Cans
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Over one billion plastic bottles or cans don’t get recycled in Ontario each year.
These recyclables either end up in our landfills or littering our streets, parks, and rivers.
Recyclables are being washed downstream into the Great Lakes and polluting our
Tiny bits of plastic are being eaten by small fish and wildlife and entering the food
chain. We need to do a much better job of recycling to protect our environment and human health. The next time you’re drinking from a bottle or can, look at the label. It will say, “Return for Refund where Applicable”. Return for Refund programs are found throughout both Canada and the United States.
Studies have found that 80 percent of litter in the Great Lakes region is plastic
and there are up to six million bits of plastic per square kilometre. Plastic water bottles and caps that litter our shorelines don’t go away, they end up breaking down into smaller pieces. These can make their way up the food chain if they are consumed by fish and wildlife. Our Blue Box recycling program is falling behind. We have the lowest PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle recycling rate of any province, capturing just half of the plastic water bottles used. It is no coincidence that Ontario is one of the few Canadian jurisdictions without a deposit-return program for plastic bottles and cans. Other provinces and territories recycle 72 to 95 percent of their bottles.
Every spring during the Thames River Clean Up , our volunteers clean up 200
kilometres. About 2000 volunteers participate every year. Plastic bottles and pop cans make up over 75 percent of the debris collected. Other plastic items such as bags, pails, and flower pots are also swept into our Great Lakes. If we had a deposit on bottles and cans, our job would be a lot easier because people would not litter in the first place.
"On the 10th anniversary of the Ontario Deposit Return Program, we're
celebrating its continued success. Thank you, Ontario, for doing your part. Through
programs like this, together we are building a circular economy and a cleaner
environment for the future," said Arthur Potts, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
It was stated that the Return for Refund program diverted 3 billion wine and liquor
bottles out of Ontario landfills. The Bag it Back program states "It was the right thing to do."
Also, on the Ontario website, Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario , the Circular
Economy states this strategy will divert more waste from landfills, create more jobs, and fight climate change.
One Billion Reasons to Return for Refund
It’s time for Ontario to catch up. It’s time for Ontario to stand up against the big
beverage companies and demand a Return for Refund program, like the Beer Store and LCBO. It’s time for the Ontario Government to pass a law to protect our environment by legislating mandatory Return for Refund for all bottles and cans!
CC Rod Phillips , Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks
Andrea Horwath, NDP leader
Ian Arthur NDP Critic, Environment and Sustainability
Mike Schreiner, Green Party leader
Peter Tabuns, Critic, Energy and Climate Change
Nathalie Des Rosiers, Critic, Environment, Conservation and Parks
Doug Ford, Conservative Party Leader
Founder of the Thames River Clean Up
Chairperson of the Unifor London, Oxford Regional Environment Council
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