ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE
For Immediate Release: May 26, 2011
 
Ontario could be Reusing 30 Million Wine Bottles a Year; Current Reuse is None
Adding Wine Bottle Reuse to the Ontario Deposit Return Program Would Bring Economic and Environmental Benefits
TORONTO, ON – One of Ontario’s greenest industries could be even greener if it adopted a reuse program for wine bottles.  In a report released today, Refillable Wine Bottles in Ontario: Cases for Reuse, Environmental Defence calls on the province to embrace the opportunity presented by the Ontario Deposit Return Program (ODRP) contract renewal by including a provision for the reuse of bottles.
“The ODRP is an excellent program, and has had a dramatic effect on recycling rates for wine and liquor bottles,” said Keith Brooks, Program Manager, Environmental Defence.   “But there is still more to be done. Now that these bottles follow an almost identical life cycle to the beer bottle, the next logical step is to close the loop, and do with wine bottles as we have been doing with beer bottles for nearly a hundred years.”
Approximately 36 million bottles of Ontario wine are consumed in this province each year. 87 per cent of those bottles, over 30 million of them, are now returned for recycling thanks to the ODRP. None of these bottles are reused, but almost all of them could be. In comparison, the average beer bottle is reused 15 times.
Bottle reuse would bring significant environmental benefits. For example, the carbon footprint of a standard wine bottle reused ten times is 80 per cent smaller than the footprint of a lightweight bottle, used only once. If a refillable bottle was used for 10 per cent of the Ontario market, 1,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission would be avoided each year. That’s equivalent to taking 250 cars off the road.
“Wine bottle reuse is a quintessential green economic endeavour – it replaces materials and energy with jobs, and benefits both the environment and the economy,” Brooks continued. “The Ontario government should investigate the merits of permitting and encouraging bottle reuse in the province.”
 
The report is available at http://environmentaldefence.ca/refillable-wine-bottles
 
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca):  Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization.  We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
 
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 232; 647-280-9521 (cell)