|Abstract: ||Ontario contributes to the widespread and pervasive problem of plastic pollution as more than 50% of the single-use beverage containers sold in the province end up in the landfill or environment. This problem persists even with an extensive recycling program in place for household packaging waste. One plausible solution to increasing plastic bottle recycling rates, strengthening plastics’ end-use value and alleviating the negative externalities associated with disposable products is for the province to implement a deposit-refund system (DRS) for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) single-use non-alcoholic beverage containers. This system charges a deposit to the consumer at the point of purchase and refunds the charge when the product is brought to a specified recovery collection point.
The purpose of my research is to examine what features or best practices of a DRS yield high recovery rates, of which can be applied in Ontario, if it decides to introduce this program. These practices have been determined by conducting a comparative case study of six jurisdictions with a DRS in place: California, Oregon, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Norway, and Sweden. An analysis and synthesis of similarities, differences and patterns across the cases is conducted. The results demonstrate the features of a DRS that yield high recovery rates which are intended to guide the potential implementation of this system in Ontario.|