Laval, October 24, 2016 – The Québec government’s intention to collect deposits on water bottles and most containers of less than 900 millilitres in volume is well-received by the Teamsters Union, which represents thousands of Québec workers in the brewing (Molson, Labatt) and soft drink (Coke, Pepsi, Cott Cola) industries.
Seeing as all containers smaller than 900 millilitres in volume would be subject to deposits, it is estimated that this measure would extend to close to one billion containers.
“Extending the deposit is desirable because it would consolidate and even validate the relevance of refillable containers such as the brown screw-top bottles used in the beer industry,” explains Michel Héroux, president of Teamsters Local Union 1999. “In the long term, we hope that all bottlers and brewers sell their products in refillable containers.”
Water bottles end up in landfill sites or, worse, directly in nature and water courses. They are a danger for the environment, and the situation needs to be corrected as soon as possible. However, several major players are opposed to the measures contemplated by the government, on the pretext that small retailers would have difficulty managing the water bottles returned to them by consumers.
“In my opinion, care for the environment must lead to concrete action,” stresses the union leader. “Opponents’ recriminations about this government measure, namely those of Stéphane Forget of Québec federation of chambers of commerce, are exaggerated. I’m convinced that the government will implement solutions that are viable for everyone involved.”
Furthermore, a private deposit collection network already exists among major brewers, and it has proven itself efficient and useful.
“Imagine the environmental benefits if we managed to recuperate one billion refillable bottles every year,” concludes Mr. Héroux. “This [government] measure therefore appears viable to me in both environmental and economic terms.”
Ultimately, the Teamsters Union therefore hopes for deposits to be charged on most containers, including wine bottles, to further strengthen the current system of refillable containers.
The Teamsters represents 115,000 members in Canada in all industries. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Cell: 514 609-5101