An Ontario Success Story
Stacked end to end they would reach three quarters of the way to the moon.
Today, the One Billionth liquor container was returned to The Beer Store under the Bag it Back program, the Ontario government's highly successful deposit return program for wine, spirit and beer containers sold through LCBO and Ontario winery retail stores.
The Bag it Back milestone was celebrated by a reception committee for the One Billionth Bottle made up of Ontario Environment Minister, John Wilkinson, The Beer Store President, Ted Moroz, and Executive Director of the Conservation Council of Ontario, Chris Winter. They were assisted in selecting the One Billionth Bottle by The Beer Store employee Victoria Trueman from the Bathurst and Dupont Beer Store who helps process incoming beer, wine and spirit containers every day.
Chris Winter delivered a collection of empty liquor containers to The Beer Store mid morning 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.
From all the containers returned, Minister Wilkinson and The Beer Store employee selected a coloured glass wine bottle as the One Billionth Bottle returned. The Bottle was signed by each member of the reception committee and placed in a display container custom-made from Ontario maple in Stratford, Ontario in the Minister's riding of Perth-Wellington. The remaining containers were set aside and Ted Moroz, President of The Beer Store suggested that Minister Wilkinson and Chris Winter return with the containers in early 2011 and follow them on a tour through the recycling process where they could watch them be re-manufactured into new products. Minister Wilkinson and Mr. Winter gladly accepted the invitation and invited interested media to join them.
Ted Moroz went on to say, 'The Bag it Back program has been a tremendous success. Thanks to the participation of Ontario consumers and the dedicated efforts of front line Beer Store employees, 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 an impressive 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.' He went on to say, '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!'
Chris Winter, from the Conservation Council of Ontario, observed, 'The Bag it Back program is a real success and a natural and efficient fit with The Beer Store's very successful beer bottle return program. When the Bag it Back numbers are added to those for The Beer Store's beer container deposit program, the total system diverts an eye-popping 2.1 billion liquor containers from Ontario landfills each and every year. Deposit return programs clearly work. They not only reduce strain on municipal recycling programs, they ensure that recyclable materials are properly diverted and processed.'
After being introduced by Ted Moroz, Minster Wilkinson complimented The Beer Store staff for their service as the front line workers in the Bag it Back liquor container recycling campaign. He remarked, 'The success of Bag it Back proves Ontarians want to do the right thing. It's just one example of the real and practical things people can do to reduce waste. Together we are building a cleaner, healthier environment for our children and grandchildren.'
For more information please view our Stewardship Report.
For interviews, call Don Huff, Environmental Communication Options, 416-805-7720 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ontario Deposit Return Program (ODRP), also known as Bag it Back, was established in February 2007 to increase the collection rate for wine, spirit and beer containers sold through LCBO and Ontario winery retail stores and to direct collected containers to higher order recycling uses. The program operates by charging a refundable deposit on each alcoholic beverage container sold in the province. This deposit is returned to the consumer when they return the empty container to any one of The Beer Store’s 775 container redemption facilities. Upon collection containers are sorted and delivered to contracted processors who prepare them for sale to end-market recycling uses.