July 19, 2005 11:16 ET

Province Doing Nothing with Environment Levy

Beverage Alcohol System Review Panel Reveals Unused 8.93-cent Charge Attention: Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - July 19, 2005) - The Green Party of Ontario today called upon the Liberal government to properly allocate an already-existing 9-cent per container Environment Levy. The Beverage Alcohol System Review Panel identified that the levy is currently included in general revenues and not dedicated to expenditure on the environment.

"We would rather see the Environment Levy put towards the creation of a deposit-return system like at The Beer Store," said Ian Lipton, GPO Issue Advocate for the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal. "As the Review Panel pointed out, the recycling system for wine and spirit bottles does not work. A deposit-return system would produce a higher recovery rate and would generate a higher quality of glass for recycling."

Consumers return more than 96% of the bottles they purchase at The Beer Store and these bottles are refilled between 10 and 15 times. The LCBO has said that the implementation of a deposit-return system would involve substantial capital costs.

"The LCBO has been collecting 9 cents on every non-refillable container sold in Ontario for almost 20 years as part of the $1-billion profit it generates annually for the government," said Rob Newman, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Ontario. "The collection of this levy is a good first step. The next step is to use the money to put a reuse system in place at the LCBO."

The current system for recycling, overseen by Waste Diversion Ontario, offloads the responsibility for collecting wine and spirit bottles onto the municipal Blue Box. "We think that a crown corporation should do more than just pass the buck," said Newman.

The Green Party of Ontario has been a long-time proponent of extended producer responsibility (EPR). Extended producer responsibility has manufacturers invest in better means of production so that private citizens are not left to pay the cost of poor product design. It is part of the Green Party's strategy for a waste-free Ontario -- a plan that also calls for revenue-neutral tax shifting.

"The Review Panel recommended an independent study to determine the best approach to reuse and recycling at the LCBO," said Lipton. "We have a successful program at the Beer Store. And we hear from Industry Stewards and municipalities that LCBO glass damages equipment and reduces the quality of other products in the Blue Box. We think a study is unnecessary. The LCBO should just move forward with deposit-return." /For further information: IN: ENVIRONMENT, FINANCE, FOOD, POLITICS, RETAIL

Contact Information

  • Rob Newman, Deputy Leader, Green Party of Ontario
    Primary Phone: 416-932-8038
    Secondary Phone: 416-929-2397