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Ontarians look to make 2014 a record year for environmental care

(NC) Ontarians have always been environmentally conscious. Our dedication to the environment is exemplified by the success of the Ontario Deposit Return Program (ODRP).Ontarians are on track to return a record number of wine, spirits and cooler containers to the Beer Store this year through the Ontario Deposit Return Program (ODRP). As a result, 2014 will see the two billionth container returned since this program began in 2007.

Under ODRP, which is funded by the LCBO, all containers over 100 mL sold through the LCBO and Ontario winery, distillery and brewery retail stores (including glass bottles, aluminum cans, tetra pak wine cartons, plastic liquor bottles and chill packs) carry a 10- or 20-cent deposit. And they all can be returned to The Beer Store for a refund.

In 2012-13, over 302 million – or about 80 per cent - containers were returned. But that means almost 75 million containers still ended up in a landfill or the Blue Box.

While the Blue Box effectively recovers recyclable material, the deposit-return system allows for source separation of container types to ensure a higher quality of recyclable materials. For example, glass bottles are separated by colour, which ensures all glass is recycled into high-value products like new bottles or fibreglass. And it frees up space in the Blue Box that allows municipalities to expand their recycling programs, meaning more packaging overall can be diverted from Ontario's landfills.

Together, these deposit return programs represent Canada's largest beverage container collection system. The materials collected through these programs support Ontario manufacturing, as well as hundreds of local jobs, and reduce manufacturing costs and associated environmental impacts.

“The Ontario Deposit Return Program has had great success across the province. By taking an active role, the people of Ontario are not only contributing to a dynamic and innovative business climate but helping to protect the environment for present and future generations,” says Charles Sousa, Ontario's Minister of Finance.

Strong incentives for all of us to make 2014 a banner year for recycling in Ontario.

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Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only

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