7.8. Choose the most efficient collection system
Up until now, the public system of charging a deposit on single use containers–which targets the sale and distribution of beer and soft drinks–allowed for the recycling of a greater proportion of this type of container than municipal recovery programs. However, data from the last few years indicate that the latter could soon achieve the same results. Given equal performance levels, a number of factors weigh in favor of municipal recovery programs, particularly the lower cost and the recovery of materials apart from the containers. It is also a system already widely available to Québec households.
If it is shown that municipal recovery programs meet the Policy’s intermediary objectives, that its performance is equivalent to the deposit system for similar products, and that recovery services for soft drink containers outside the home are easily available and well distributed throughout the area, the government will consider abolishing the public deposit system.
However, the government wants to ensure that at least 70% of the containers on deposit are recycled. Above all, it wants to avoid a situation where municipal recovery programs performances match that of the deposit system at a level below a 70% recovery rate for containers of the same type. If during 2 successive years fewer than 70% of single use soft drink containers are recovered, the government will consider raising the deposit.
The beer industry, for its part, put a private deposit system in place, which enables it to recover and reuse its bottles. Single-use beer containers are governed, however, by the public deposit system. Abolishing the deposit on this type of container could lead the consumer to prefer them to returnable reusable bottles. Therefore, to promote the use of returnable reusable bottles, the deposit on single-use beer containers will be maintained if the deposit on soft drink containers is eliminated.