Statement from Ashley Wallis, Associate Director, on Ontario’s decision to end work on new deposit return system for non-alcoholic beverage containers

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – The announcement that Ontario is scrapping plans to launch a deposit return system for non-alcoholic beverage containers epitomizes a government prioritizing private greed over public good. This is a government bowing to pressure from the Retail Council of Canada and its members, like Loblaw and Costco, instead of listening to the public and beverage companies.

Last spring, beverage companies proposed a “pop can tax” to fund what would have been an ineffective public space recycling program. Rightfully, the province opposed the scheme and established a working group to explore the implementation of deposit return—a well-established, cost-effective and proven best practice for beverage container recycling. But now it appears that the last 12 months have been a waste of time that delayed action and will result in billions of bottles and cans ending up in landfills or the environment.

Eighty-one per cent of Ontarians want a deposit return program for pop, juice, water and other non-alcoholic drink containers. This is a common-sense solution to the problem of bottles and cans littered in parks, along roadways and in our lakes. Shame on the Ontario government for such a betrayal of the public interest.


ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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