It's Time for Deposits. On Everything.
Perhaps I drink too much beer. I have grown very comfortable with a system where I pay a dime deposit on a bottle and when I want more, I stick the empties in its handy Scarborough Suitcase and take it back to the same place I bought it from. The Beer Store therefore is able to refill 98% of the bottles it sells.
When everyone's knickers were in a twist about mercury in CFLs, I wondered why they don't just put a 25 cent deposit on them and have people bring them back. People do have to replace them, just like the beer bottle, so what is the hassle?
When I read that 350 million batteries are going into the trash in Canada alone, annually leaking "747 tonnes of lead, which is known to impair intelligence in children; 0.5 tonnes of mercury, which can damage the human nervous system; and 287 tonnes of nickel, 543 tonnes of zinc, and 3,501 tonnes of manganese," I wonder why we can't exchange a dead one for a new one and save the deposit. After all, you need to replace it so if you are careful, you only pay a deposit once. ::the StarEven coffee cups. In Toronto, our beloved Tim Hortons cups are filling the City's garbage bins to overflowing. Environmentalist City Councillor Gord Perks says there is too much waste and a city audit "makes it clear the extent to which the city of Toronto, both in households, in street cleaning and in our parks, is paying for the fact the province will not regulate packaging and will not make the manufacturers and producers of that waste pay the cost of cleaning it up – which means the property taxpayer has to pay for it (and) we have to spend precious dollars from our parks department." ::The Star Perhaps there should be a dime deposit on every cup and any deposits not returned to the customer should be given to the City.
Recycling on the taxpayers nickel as we do it now not the answer, it is time for producer responsibility and zero waste. Put a deposit on everything from automobiles to small appliances to hamburger clamshells to water bottles to coffee cups and see how much less garbage we have about.