GreenYes Archives
[GreenYes Archives] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]

RE: [GreenYes] Threat to PEI Bottle Bill
The glass bottles in PEI are refillable.  They are
probably used 10-20 times or more before
they are recycled. 

Patricia Franklin
Executive Director
Container Recycling Institute
1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, Ste. 702
Arlington, VA 22209

TEL:   703.276.9800
FAX:   703.276.9587

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of Mike Morrow
Sent: Wednesday, March 06, 2002 12:54 PM
To: Jed Goldberg;
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] Threat to PEI Bottle Bill

Has anyone conducted a cost analysis between refillable glass against PETE?  Local waste composition studies show that glass container are losing significant market share.  Local beverage companies closed down long ago because they couldn't compete against non-refillables.  Prices for recycled glass are in the tank and are not  expected to recover. 
Although I commend the PEI government for trying to maintain its local bottling industry, the question for me (as a waste manager) is "Which would I prefer to find markets for, 1000 tons of glass or 1000 tons of PETE?"  A more global question would be "Is a glass beverage bottle which weighs just over 7 oz., a more resource friendly container than a PETE bottle which weighs just over 1 oz.?"
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, March 06, 2002 1:06 PM
Subject: [GreenYes] Threat to PEI Bottle Bill

Request for Help
The Province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) on the east cost of Canada has the most stringent and forward thinking beverage container legislation in North America.
The legislation demands that all carbonated beverages and beer must be bottled in refillable glassIt is illegal to sell canned soft drinks or beer on the island.  Needless to say, this tiny province's legislation is less than popular with the suits in Atlanta who regularly visit the island to tell the provincial environment minister that he needs to get with the program and start allowing consumers to choose the packaging they want.  They would also prefer if little was known about this legislation outside of PEI.
The heat has been on the Province for years to change the legislation but they have always stayed the course and maintained that this bill has strong environmental merit as well as eliminating litter.
Yesterday an editorial was published in the National Post (a right wing national newspaper) slamming the legislation and throwing more gasoline on the fire.  Copy Below.  There has been a lot of discussion on PEI questioning the need to continue this legislation and when a credible voice (?) issues a strong statement against the legislation, it carries a lot of weight on PEI.
That is precisely why your letter could help.  Letters from outside of Canada congratulating the PEI government in maintaining the legislation and applauding their courage might help.
Please take a few moments to write a letter to the editor of the National Post explaining why you feel the legislation is a ground breaker in North America and should be modelled not questioned.
Please copy me on your letter,
Much Thanks
Red sand, no cans

National Post - March 5, 2002

Anne of Green Gables never drank pop out of a can. And, according to the Prince Edward Island government, neither should anyone else on the island. Last month Chester Gillan, P.E.I.'s environment minister, announced he was maintaining his province's 18-year-old ban on pop and beer cans. Carbonated beverages can only be sold in refillable glass bottles in the province.

But that doesn't square with residents' views. Letters to the editor and editorials in P.E.I. have been solidly against the ban since Mr. Gillan made his announcement. A recent survey said three in four Islanders would buy soft drinks in cans or plastic bottles, if given the choice. And Terri Johnson of Milo, P.E.I., recently unveiled a Web site and petition as a focal point for popular opposition to the ban.

Mr. Gillan's weak argument is that Islanders must accept less choice in order to save the environment and promote tourism. But if the government is so concerned on this score, why is it only carbonated drinks such as pop and beer that are subject to the bottle requirement? Juice, milk, water and other unbubbly beverages can be sold however a consumer desires -- environment be damned. If Mr. Gillan is driven to keep cans out of ditches and off beaches, then why not ban all cans?

One reason stands out. Whenever the topic of the ban comes up, the management of Seaman's Beverages, the only bottler of soft drinks on the island, raise the spectre of 125 jobs that might be lost if "imported" pop were to flood P.E.I.'s shores. Indeed, the official explanation for the original 1984 ban reads: "Preserving a local bottling business and the associated jobs was also seen as paramount."

Setting aside the outrageous infringement on P.E.I. residents' right to choose how they quench their thirst and the higher prices they must pay, (as well as the indirect effects of the ban, which include the blocking of carbonated juice beverages that are distributed only in cans), even the alleged economic benefits of propping up a local business is illusory. A 1998 study by University of Prince Edward Island researchers found that provincial businesses lost $4-million in sales and the government $400,000 in taxes per year because of the can ban. The law hurts consumers, business and government. Free the cans!

Jed Goldberg
Earth Day Canada
296 Richmond Street West
Toronto  ON  M5V 1X2
v - 416.599.1991  ex 111
f - 416.599.3100

[GreenYes Archives] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]