1M missing bottles daily

More than one million beverage containers go "missing" every day in British Columbia.

In other words, they don't get recycled, meaning they could end up in lakes, streams, the ocean, or simply be left as litter in the environment.

A new report by the Ocean Legacy Foundation states that every day in B.C., more than one million beverage containers and 2.3 million beverage container caps are unaccounted for.

“The world has its eye on ocean plastics, and B.C. is no different,” says executive director Chloe Dubois. “With more than eight million tonnes of plastic entering our oceans and waterways each year, and more than 40 per cent of this from single-use, disposable plastics like beverage containers, it’s time for focused and resolute action.”

British Columbia was the first jurisdiction in the world to adopt a regulated beverage container refund system 50 years ago, and the OLF is calling on the province to reclaim its environmental leadership position.

The foundation recommends five policy changes:

  • Increase the regulated deposit rate
  • Add all beverage containers to the deposit refund system
  • Require producers to collect and report on the recycling of bottle caps
  • Raise regulated targets to at least that achieved by Alberta and Saskatchewan, with long-term targets matching the European Union
  • Enforce the regulated targets in a meaningful way, such as requiring producers to pay for the clean-up of ocean plastics equal to the amount by weight that they fail to collect and recycle

Plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals every year, the OLF says.

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