Now we pay bottle tax?

I'm forced to question the motivation behind the new return system for bottles to the LCBO.

What is the value in this? Why do they want you to bring them the bottles rather than just leaving them at the curb in the recycle bin with the rest of your glassware?

With Brewers Retail (The Beer Store), it is understandable. They want the bottles back because they are an integral part of the network that allows beer bottles to be efficiently reused in Ontario. By taking them back in an unbroken state, nicely organized, they are reducing the cost of recycling them and helping keep the cost of beer down for those who use them. I commend that.

The LCBO is different though. They have no such network. They are not part of any recycling system that will benefit from the bottles going through them. So far as I can tell, there is no good reason for them to accept returns other than to collect the deposits as a tax and profit on any bottles that get recycled through more convenient methods.

The Ontario Liberals can pretend they're being environmentally conscious with this nonsense, but the fact is that we already have perfectly good ways of recycling bottles and this isn't helping things. I don't think that people who can't be bothered to put the bottles in the recycle bin instead of the trash will be driven by the prospect of a shiny new dime to pack them over to the LCBO and return them.

In the end, it's just their way of stealing a little more from us.

0 thoughts on “Now we pay bottle tax?”

  1. Actually, I believe the deposit is to motivate the people who don't bother recycling. It's a matter of diverting the bottles that end up in the dump rather than a recycling centre. It may also have the secondary unintended benefit of some people collecting (cleaning up) bottles off the street.

  2. Why not do the same for pop bottles at the grocery stores then? Or tin cans?

    Why don't we take all our garbage to various depots and get money for it?

    What makes the LCBO special?

  3. For the record, both BC and Alberta has been doing this with liquor bottles for some time. In Quebec, you pay a deposit on both carbonated and non (ice tea – voluntary) drink cans, and water bottles.

    For the record, Quebec has a much higher recycling rate for cans than Ontario does (1). It seems this is generically true of the deposit system (2).

    When PEI instituted a deposit on soft-drink containers, it resulted in a 98% return rate.

    Interesting information: cities like aluminum cans better than plastic bottles, as they can sell the recycling alumnium to help pay for the recyling (not so with plastic).

    Given the GTA's garbage problems, anything that helps divert material from landfills (bottles, compostables, etc.) is good. I don't mind the deposit, since I'll get it back. Super statistic (2): in Quebec, beer bottles have a 98% return rate with deposit; wine and spirits (no deposit) are at 60%.


  4. I don't object to the system of paying deposits and receiving refunds.

    I'd be supportive of an extension to this that applied to all cans and bottles and ran through grocery stores and what not.

    What I object to here is that the LCBO is the only one collecting the deposits.

    I also found out last night that you can't even return them to an LCBO to get your deposit back. The only place you can return them is to The Beer Store, making the whole thing even more inconvenient to those who don't drink beer.

    It all stinks of a cash grab with little attention paid to actually increasing recycling rates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *