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Beer Store celebrates return of 3 billionth 'Bag It Back' container

Date May 16, 2017 Author Lucy Robinson Categories Industry News

TORONTOMay 16, 2017 /CNW/ - Thanks to responsible Ontarians and hard-working Beer Store employees, more than 3 billion Bag It Back (ODRP) alcohol containers have now been recycled through Beer Store authorized return locations across the province.

"We're thrilled to announce that we have reached this milestone on environmental responsibility and that we've diverted enormous amounts of material that could otherwise end up in the province's landfills," Beer Store President Ted Moroz said.

If laid end-to-end on the ground, these 3 billion containers would stretch around the world 19 times – at about 762,000 kilometres in length.

"The Ontario Deposit Return Program is an effective way to ensure the empty alcohol containers that you return are recycled into new bottles and other products. Returning empties protects the environment, reduces waste and creates jobs. It's a win for the environment and a win for the economy," said Finance Minister Charles Sousa.

The program recycles an average of 555 alcohol containers every minute of every day, of every year.

"On the 10th anniversary of the Ontario Deposit Return Program, we're celebrating its continued success. Thank you, Ontario, for doing your part. Through programs like this, together we are building a circular economy and a cleaner environment for the future," said Arthur Potts, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

Each year, more than 400,000 tonnes of material is diverted from the province's landfills by the combined Beer Store and ODRP programs, which amounts to about half the recycling collected annually from curbside Blue Box programs.                     

In addition, each year the Beer Store's recycling efforts help to avoid over 195,000 tonnes of Greenhouse Gas emissions - that's equivalent to taking over 41,000 cars and trucks off Ontario roads.

"Bag It Back has proven to be an effective program that diverts valuable material away from disposal and into reuse and recycling systems," said Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director, Recycling Council of Ontario. "Three billion containers diverted is an impressive achievement that the Beer Store and consumers should be proud of."

"Nexcycle is proud to have worked alongside the Beer Store through all container returns, including the 3 billion containers being celebrated today. The many Ontarians who support this program can be confident that containers and packaging returned to the Beer Store all are recycled to high end use, protecting resources for the future," said Laurie Borg, President, NexCycle Innovations.


  • The ODRP program started in February 2007, introducing a deposit on Ontario sales of alcohol containers over 100ml in content and included glass bottles, metal cans, PET containers, tetra, chill pack and Bag-in-Box containers. Products include Ontario sales of spirits, wine, coolers and beer not sold in the Beer Store system. 
  • Returns can be made for deposit refund at any of the 446 Beer Store locations, 210 Retail Partner/Northern Agency sites and 110 Beer Store contracted empty bottle dealers. 
  • The Beer Store reached 1 billion ODRP containers returned in December 2010
  • 2 billion containers returned was achieved in April 2014.

About the Beer Store
The Beer Store offers customers 720 brands, provided by 185 brewers. It is a completely open system that allows any brewer in the world to sell its brands in any Beer Store location it chooses, at prices determined by it and approved by the LCBO. The Beer Store is deeply committed to responsible sale by not selling to minors and people who are intoxicated. In 2015, more than 3.7 million customers were challenged to confirm their age or sobriety. It is also one of the greenest retailers in the world collecting around 1.6 billion beer containers (an 88 per cent return rate) and 349 million wine and spirit containers (a 78 per cent return rate) in 2016. The Beer Store is owned by 30 Ontario-based brewers and employs 7,000 hard-working Ontarians with well-paying full and part-time jobs. 






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