As Chairman of the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA) Board of Directors, I am pleased to present the significant achievements that are outlined in this year’s annual report. The Board and staff of CBCRA and its Recycle Everywhere program never stop innovating, and pushing forward to encourage Manitobans to recycle every empty beverage container.
CBCRA was formed in 2010 in response to the newly government-mandated target of recovering 75% of beverage containers sold into the province. Beverage producers and brand owners created this not-for-profit, industry-funded organization to tackle this challenge head on with a unique system for recycling beverage containers. The result was CBCRA and the implementation of its Recycle Everywhere program, a model which exists nowhere else in North America. Recycle Everywhere ensures that it is convenient for citizens to recycle their empty beverage containers no matter where they live, work, or play. This is accomplished through providing free Recycle Everywhere bin infrastructure to public spaces across the province. Since 2010, we have placed over 57,000 Recycle Everywhere bins in communities, municipalities, schools, businesses, institutions, parks, festivals, and events throughout Manitoba. In addition, the program is supported by extensive promotion and education efforts to keep consumers informed and motivated to recycle every empty beverage container.
This would not be possible without the support of beverage retailers and producers: those companies who sell sealed beverage containers in Manitoba. Not only are these companies stewards of our program, but they are the key link to communicating and informing consumers about the Container Recycling Fee (CRF) that they see on their receipt when a beverage container is purchased. The CRF covers the entire cost of the program, from bin infrastructure to distribution of bins, promotion, education and technical support. In addition, the CRF funds up to 80% of the cost to collect and process beverage containers through residential recycling programs. In other provinces in Canada, such as those with deposit systems, consumers pay much higher fees upfront and only receive a portion of these fees back. We are thankful for the support and commitment of CBCRA members and stewards to our programs as we pioneer this successful and unique beverage container recycling model in Manitoba.
Another aspect of our program that is unique is our Recycle Everywhere promotion and education campaigns. Accessibility to recycling bin infrastructure must be matched with the knowledge of what goes into the bin. Each year we create advertising campaigns that are motivating and inspiring to ensure that every consumer knows exactly where their beverage container belongs once it is empty – in a blue bin. We accomplish this through conducting sound research on what consumers question and respond to when it comes to beverage container recycling. We then take these insights and transform them into powerful communications initiatives. 2017 was no different as we told the story of a real life recycling hero, Bennett, and his recycling business at the lake. We also introduced our funny and informative recycling experts, Bernie and Gracie the raccoons. I encourage you to review these communications projects and more within the report.
Accessibility and knowledge are key factors to recycling beverage containers, but ultimately the actions that each Manitoban takes makes the difference. We thank Manitobans for responding to our challenge and for making the right choice when it comes to disposing of their beverage containers. We would also like to thank the Ministry of Sustainable Development for their continued support of our program as we climb toward 75% recovery.
Innovation and creativity drive our program to succeed, and CBCRA is committed to continue to push toward our goal with new initiatives that will motivate and help Manitobans to recycle beverage containers from one corner of the province to the other.