April 19, 2004

BC residents set new recycling record

British Columbia residents set a new record for recycling beverage containers by returning nearly 172 soft drink, water and juice cans, bottles and cartons per person in 2003, Encorp Pacific (Canada) reported recently. This represents a 68% increase in per person returns since 1999 and pushed the total for returned non-alcoholic beverage containers in 2003 to nearly 726 million.

Over 82% of the containers returned came through the Encorp Pacific's "Return-It" system of independently owned depots; Encorp collected the remainder from major grocery stores. In 2003 the Encorp system recovered over 76.5% of all non-alcoholic beverage containers sold in the province, setting another new record. The "Return-It" system also collected nearly 140 million wine, spirits and imported beer bottles under a contract signed in 2001 with the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

The combined weight of all containers collected and recycled, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, was nearly 79,000 metric tonnes. All of this material was diverted from landfill and made into new products. Details on recycling quantities, end uses of recycled materials, as well as other information, may be found on Encorp's Web site, www.encorp.ca.

Encorp Pacific (Canada) is a privately-owned, not-for-profit product stewardship corporation. It is BC's designated agent for all non-alcoholic beverage brand owners covered by provincial legislation. Encorp's prime mandate is to develop and manage a consumer-friendly and cost-effective system to recover non-alcoholic beverage containers from consumers and ensure that they are recycled and not incinerated or landfilled.

The organization also undertakes service provider contracts for related recovery and recycling initiatives. In this regard, Encorp won the contract from the BC Liquor Distribution Branch to handle that company's wine, spirits and non-refillable beer and cider bottles. These products are not part of Encorp's stewardship plan but are handled as a separate contract with the BCLDB remaining as the steward.

Encorp's board of directors represents the beverage industry and retail grocery industries; it also includes directors who have no relationship with either industry. Industry representatives include the soft drink, water and juice sectors, along with the major grocers.

More information is available from Malcolm Harvey at Encorp Pacific, 604/473-2419, E-mail malcolm@encorpinc.com.

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