While the average of the recovery rates for beverage containers in Canada is approximately 75%, we all need to do more to make sure ALL beverage containers are recycled. PET is the second most valuable item in the Blue Box program in Ontario and the more the product is captured, the more it can be reused repeatedly. In Ontario, stewards, such as Nestlé Waters Canada pay 50% of the cost of the municipal blue box programs. This will increase with the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility program where producers will cover 100% of the cost of the blue box program. Nestlé Waters Canada is in support of the EPR program and the additional costs as it promises to help increase the recycling rates in Ontario.
Through our industry association, the Canadian Beverage Association, we aim to advance recycling policies so that we can capture and reuse as many PET beverage containers as possible, and to educate our consumers about the impact they can make by recycling, and preventing valuable plastic materials from being discarded.
In addition, we work with industry partners to improve and enhance recycling programs across the country. We are actively participating in discussions on plastics, packaging, and recycling with government and industry to move towards a circular economy.
Puslinch Public Spaces Recycling Program
We are proud to have launched an innovative public-spaces recycling program in Puslinch in 2020, marked by bright blue and black dual-recycling bins in outdoor locations across the township.
The program, designed by Reclay StewardEdge and Recycle Everywhere, and funded by Nestlé Waters Canada, will provide much-needed infrastructure to improve recycling rates and reduce waste throughout the community.
Blue and black dual-recycling bins have been placed at local parks and the Community Centre. Bins will also be placed at indoor facilities pending the easing of restrictions due to COVID-19. The locations were chosen after Nestlé Waters Canada identified a gap in recycling capabilities in these high-traffic areas.
After a similar program, also funded in part by Nestlé Waters Canada, launched in Erin in 2018, recovery of beverage containers increased to approximately 87 per cent, while contamination dropped 17 points.
We are happy to see that this effective recycling infrastructure have a forever home in Puslinch!
The Township of Puslinch approved the $50,000 in early February. Bins were originally slated to be placed in mid-April, but were delayed out of an abundance of caution to protect the health and safety of the Public Works, Parks, and Facilities teams during the pandemic.
While the outdoor bins have now been placed the rollout of indoor bins will take place when these facilities are once again open to the public. A traditional and social media campaign to educate residents on the program has launched on August 25.
Erin Public Spaces Recycling Program
One of our most recent partnerships with fellow industry partners was for a public spaces recycling program in Erin. Prior to the program being implemented, there was a waste audit done to determine contamination rates (IE. recyclable materials being thrown in the garbage, or vice versa). After the audit was complete, new garbage and recycling bins were placed in strategic public spaces around Hillsburgh and Erin.
After the new bins were put in place, a post waste audit was conducted and found that the recovery of beverage containers increased to 87% and contamination was reduced by 17 points.
We all have a role to play when it comes to the circular economy. Please ensure you recycle your beverage bottles!