One Billion Bottles recycled: an Ontario success story

Toronto – Today, the One Billionth liquor container was returned to The Beer Store under the Bag it Back program, Ontario’s highly successful deposit return program for wine, spirit and beer containers sold through LCBO and Ontario winery retail stores.

The Bag it Back milestone was celebrated by a reception committee made up of Ontario Environment Minister John Wilkinson, The Beer Store president, Ted Moroz, and executive director of the Conservation Council of Ontario (CCO), Chris Winter.

Chris Winter delivered a collection of empty liquor containers to The Beer Store mid-morning at a time when Beer Store business analysts had calculated the One Billionth container would enter the system.

The One Billionth Bottle was signed by each member of the reception committee and placed in a display container custom-made from Ontario maple in Stratford, Ontario.

“The Bag it Back program has been a tremendous success,” says Moroz. “Thanks to the participation of Ontario consumers and the dedicated efforts of front-line Beer Store employees, the program has met or exceeded its container return rate goals in each of its first three years.”

Moroz also pointed out that, “last year, 77 per cent of all containers sold under the program were returned – including an impressive 87 per cent of large glass containers, and based on current return rates we’re confident we’ll achieve our 4th year recovery rate goal of 80 per cent.”

“The Bag it Back program is a real success and a natural and efficient fit with The Beer Store’s very successful beer bottle return program,” observed the CCO’s Chris Winter. “When the Bag it Back numbers are added to those for The Beer Store’s beer container deposit program, the total system diverts an eye-popping 2.1 billion liquor containers from Ontario landfills each and every year. Deposit return programs clearly work. They not only reduce strain on municipal recycling programs, they ensure that recyclable materials are properly diverted and processed.”

About the Conservation Council of Ontario

Founded in 1952, the Conservation Council of Ontario (CCO) is a not-for-profit charitable provincial association of organizations, businesses, municipalities, individuals and groups working cooperatively to promote conservation values and practices.

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