Return-It Blog

25 Years – 20 Billion Beverage Containers Diverted!

This year, Return-It is celebrating 25 years of environmental leadership and diverting more than 20 billion beverage containers from our landfills, oceans and waterways!

We are proud of the ways we have been able to learn, grow, and expand BC’s recycling capabilities over the past 25 years – and we couldn’t have done it without our stakeholders’ support and dedication to recycling and keeping our province green.

We began in 1994 with a mandate limited to soft drink containers, guided by a small team of six employees. Over the past 25 years – through our commitment to partnership and innovation – we have become the largest and most recognized product stewardship agency in BC.

Partnerships have been the foundation of our success, enabling us to expand our focus from soft drink containers to collecting other beverage containers, as well as electronics, large appliances and textiles. Similarly, our strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations, schools, community groups and corporations have been instrumental to our success in diverting 20 billion beverage containers from the landfill over the last 25 years.

Innovation is at the heart of our organization and we have always pursued strategies to raise consumer awareness of our programs and increase collection rates. As extended producer responsibility  programs and the need for recycling solutions for material streams continue to grow at a rapid pace, we will continue being at the forefront of providing innovative solutions.

A main focus for 2019 will be to continue capturing those beverage containers that end up in the landfill by enhancing the customer experience at the depots.  Through ongoing research, education and convenience remain the most important motivators for recycling. With the launch of our recent Return-It Express program, consumers will be able to recycle their beverage containers through a drop-and-go, in-depot experience that is fast, convenient and easy – a revolutionized way of recycling.  There are now over 50 Express locations across the Lower Mainland and we plan to continue expanding this program!  Click here to learn more.

This year, Return-It also signed onto the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment, to eliminate plastic pollution at the source.  As part of this commitment, we will eliminate single-use plastic film from our supply chain by 2025.

We are proud of the programs and partnerships we have built over the past 25 years. We look forward to continuing to expand environmental leadership in BC for many years to come.