At the moment only some drink containers are part of the refundable container system here in BC.
All food containers should be part of the refundable system. It makes no sense to only make certain drink containers refundable.
We should start with all the milk containers - milk should not be exempt from the refundable system.
Next we should include all hard plastic or metal containers - things such as yogurt containers, soup cans etc
Finally all the Styrofoam containers for take away food or even for meat packages.
This would dramatically increase the amount of materials being collected but the benefit would that the materials would be sorted by type and therefore materials that could actually be recycled in a useful manner.
At the moment most of what we do not return for refunds ends up in the mass residential recycling and ends up going into the landfill and not recycled. Sorting the materials as they enter the recycling system is much easier than trying to sort them when they are all collected in a mass.
The addition of more materials being in the refund system would mean a lot more money for local youth groups such as the Scouts or high school sports teams.
There would be an increased cost to the public but it would be in the range of 4% to 5% price increase if the material was not returned by the person. The increase for people that regularly returned their materials would be at most 1%.
This change would reduce the cost for local government because the amount of materials collected would be reduced. Most of the materials collected by local government would then be paper and cardboard.