Food In Canada


Bottle return program a success

Ontario’s The Beer Store marks the one-billionth liquor container returned, diverting waste from landfills

Toronto – The one-billionth liquor container was returned to The Beer Store under the Bag it Back program on Dec. 13.

Bag it Back is the Ontario government’s deposit return program for wine, spirit and beer containers sold through the LCBO and Ontario winery retail stores.

On hand to celebrate the milestone were John Wilkinson, Ontario’s environment minister; Ted Moroz, The Beer Store’s president; and Chris Winter, executive director of the Conservation Council of Ontario.

Pictured (left to right) are: John Wilkinson, Ontario's minister of Environment; Ted Moroz, The Beer Store's president; and Chris Winter, executive director of the Conservation Council of Ontario.

Winter delivered a collection of empty liquor containers to The Beer Store mid-morning on Dec. 13 at a time when Beer Store business analysts had calculated the one-billionth container would enter the system.

The selection of containers returned included coloured and clear glass wine, spirit, and cooler bottles, plastic liquor bottles, tetrapak wine containers, and beer bottles and cans sold through the LCBO.

Wilkinson selected a coloured glass wine bottle as the one-billionth bottle returned and each member of the reception committee signed it and placed it in a display container.

The remaining containers were set aside and Moroz invited Wilkinson and Winter to return in early 2011 and follow those containers on a tour through the recycling process where they could watch them be re-manufactured into new products.

Moroz went on to say that thanks to Ontario consumers and Beer Store employees the Bag it Back program has been a tremendous success.

“The program has met or exceeded its container return rate goals in each of its first three years. Last year, 77 per cent of all containers sold under the program were returned, including 87 per cent of large glass containers, and based on current return rates we’re confident we’ll achieve our 4th year recovery rate goal of 80 per cent,” said Moroz.

“A billion bottles and containers recycled is truly an impressive number. If you were to stack them one on top of the other they would reach almost three-quarters of the way to the moon.”