More change coming to B.C.'s beverage container refund system that will make your life easier | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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More change coming to B.C.'s beverage container refund system that will make your life easier

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October 04, 2020 - 6:00 AM

While beer and pop cans have had the same deposit and refund cost for almost a year, they still have to be sorted at bottle depots in B.C.

As of Oct. 1, larger containers have gone to the same 10 cent rate, and they still need to be sorted by size.

Return-It president and CEO Allen Langdon wants to change that, first for cans then for glass and other containers.

“Ideally, in the next 12 to 18 months, you will just have to sort into three categories: aluminum, glass and everything else,” he told “It just makes sense.”

Return-It primarily deals with non-alcoholic beverage containers but does have responsibility for some that contain alcohol.

It is running pilot projects in smaller communities throughout the province where the two kinds of cans can be mixed together, but only in smaller communities. The list can be seen here.

The plan is to have a report to the Ministry of Environment on the success of those pilot projects by Oct. 15 and to get ministerial approval to implement the program province-wide by January.

Langdon doesn’t expect the provincial election to change that timeline.

The glass and other containers will also need ministerial approval, which is why it may take 12 to 18 months before those will no longer need to be sorted.

As of Oct. 1, deposits on all beverage containers were standardized at 10 cents. Prior to that date, deposits were 20 cents on containers larger than one litre.

READ MORE: Change is coming to B.C.'s Return-It program for refundable beverage containers

Users have until Oct. 11 to return the larger containers in order to get their 20 cents back. After that they only get 10 cents.

Langdon doesn’t expect the price change to affect people’s willingness to return their empties.

“What really drives return rates is convenience,” he said. “As long as the system is convenient, we don’t think there will be any problems with returns.”

Return-It has a 78 per cent return rate on refundable containers and Langdon expects that to hit 80 per cent this year.

Oregon, which has a similar standard deposit/return rate to B.C., has 85 to 90 per cent return rate, he said.

For more information, go here.

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