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.
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!