Encorp Pacific, better known as Return-It, the industry owned, not-for-profit product stewardship organization responsible for beverage container recycling in B.C., will increase deposits for non-alcohol beverage containers up to and including 1 litre from 5 cents to 10 cents, starting November 1, 2019.
Coinciding with national Waste Reduction Week, the announcement is the latest move by Return-It to encourage British Columbians to recycle more containers, with the goal of keeping them out of B.C.’s landfills and oceans.
“Raising the deposit value will provide additional incentive for consumers to return their beverage containers,” said Allen Langdon, President & CEO of Return-It. “B.C. is already a leader when it comes to protecting our environment and being at the forefront of industry product stewardship. The increase we are announcing today is an important step forward to optimize our system and increase recovery rates.”
As of November 1, a 10-cent deposit will be charged for all ready-to-drink beverage containers containing soft drinks, juice, water, energy and sport drinks up to and including 1 litre in size. Consumers can redeem their full 10-cent deposit refund on these containers when recycling at Return-It depots and retail locations province-wide. The change affects 80 percent of the beverage containers included in the Return-It system.
As the industry-owned stewardship organization that has managed the recycling of beverage containers in B.C. for 25 years, Return-It provides convenient, efficient and environmentally sustainable collection networks for everyone in B.C. In 2018, Return-It increased its recovery rate from prior years to 77.4% and is focused on improving it even further. Diverting beverage containers from landfill, oceans and waterways remains Return-It’s highest priority and has informed its mandate over the years. Return-It is leading this change in deposit rates to ensure the increase is managed efficiently and effectively for all British Columbians and the businesses that will be affected by this change.
“We need to do all we can to prevent plastics and other waste from getting into our oceans and waterways,” said Alison Wood, co-founder of Ocean Ambassadors Canada, an organization committed to turning the tide of marine pollution by empowering youth, creating ambassadors, and inspiring change. “We welcome this direction by Return-It. It demonstrates their leadership and commitment to recycling and protecting our environment.”
“This move by Return-It to increase the deposit on beverage containers up to and including 1 litre is a welcome step forward in keeping beverage containers out of B.C.’s natural environment. This is a good move on Return-It’s part and I look forward to seeing the results over time,” said Brock Macdonald, Chief Executive Officer, Recycling Council of British Columbia.
In September, the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy launched a consultation on developing its Clean BC Plastics Action Plan. As part of this consultation process, the government is considering a unified deposit rate of 10-cents on all beverage containers to increase recovery and reduce consumer and retailer confusion. Return-It believes this approach will have a positive impact on increasing beverage container recovery rates in British Columbia.
Deposits for beverage containers in the Return-It system that are above 1 litre will not be impacted by today’s announcement.
Did you know?
Return-It recycles approximately 1 billion beverage containers a year. Plus, every plastic container is responsibly recycled right here in B.C. and Alberta, where they’re cleaned and broken down into plastic pellets that can be used to make new plastic bottles.
Return-It is owned by beverage brand owners in British Columbia and is a not-for-profit, product stewardship agency with beverage container management as its core business. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, its mandate is to develop, manage and operate a cost effective system for the responsible collection and recycling of beverage containers across British Columbia. In 2019, Return-It made a global commitment through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to help eliminate plastic pollution at the source. As part of this commitment, Return-it has committed to eliminate single-use plastic film from its supply chain by 2025. Return-It has also partnered with Ocean Ambassadors Canada to educate students on how plastics affect the marine environment, and empower them to become life-long ambassadors who can make a meaningful impact in their schools and communities.