FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2005
Consumers’ Association Demands BC Government Take Action To Stop Collection of Illegal Recycling Fee
The Consumers’ Association of Canada has formally requested that the Government of British Columbia take immediate action to defend the interests of consumers under the Beverage Stewardship Program Regulation. “Every day of every week the beverage container brand owners and retailers collect an illegal container recycling fee from consumers, said Mr. Bruce Cran, President of the Association. “This illegal fee imposed by industry needs to be stopped by Government”.
This industry has, without any legal authority from the British Columbia Government, collected millions of dollars in fees from consumers and continues to do so. “To date, this industry has collected over $60 million in illegal fees which has come straight out of consumers’ pockets”, said Mr. Cran.
The Association formally requested that action be taken in a letter sent to BC Hon. Bill Barisoff, BC Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection. Similar letters were sent to the Opposition Leader and the Green Party.
“This illegal fee is in addition to the refundable deposit paid by consumers for each beverage container purchased’, said Mr. Cran. “The net effect of the illegal recycling fee is that consumers bear the full cost of the beverage container stewardship program, which is contrary to the spirit and intent of the Regulation”.
In Ontario, the provincial government has made it clear that brand owners must assume significant financial responsibility for the recycling costs of the containers in which their products are sold. Under Ontario’s regulations companies pay millions of dollars to support beverage container recycling programs.
“In British Columbia these same firms contribute nothing”, said Mr. Cran. The reason is that Government has failed in its duty to protect consumers by allowing these firms to off-load their entire beverage container recycling costs onto consumers by way of the illegal recycling fee. “We want the Government to step in now to protect BC consumers from continued gouging by this industry”, said Mr. Cran.
The British Columbia Government must act immediately to order industry to cease bilking consumers with this illegal fee.
For more information contact:
Mr. Bruce Cran, President, Consumers’ Association of Canada
Tel. (604) 418-8359