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Alberta Bottle Depot Association looking to add deposit to cannabis containers

Albertans may soon be able to return their cannabis packaging to an Alberta bottle depot. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Greg MacLean

If an idea brought forward by the Alberta Bottle Depot Association goes ahead, Albertans could soon be able to return their plastic cannabis containers with their beverage containers to the bottle depot for a refund.

Speaking on The Ryan Jespersen Show on Friday morning, association president Jerry Roczkowsky said there are more than 200 depots province wide and more than 90 per cent of Albertans have easy access to one, making it easy for cannabis users to keep that plastic packaging out of the landfill.

Read more: Producers blame federal guidelines as customers raise concerns over ‘excessive’ cannabis packaging

“There’s upwards of 30 ounces of packaging per one ounce of product. And so a lot of consumers that have gone the legal route are somewhat offended by it,” Roczkowsky said. “They really don’t see the need for that much packaging.”

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The idea is simple. Just like the current beverage container system, people buying cannabis products would pay a small deposit at the point of purchase. That container could then go to an Alberta bottle depot and the person would receive the refund.

“Currently, with beverage containers, the deposit is 10 cents and 25 cents,” Roczkowsky said. “So something like a 10-cent deposit would seem reasonable to me.”

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The amount of packaging of cannabis is regulated by the federal government, but the bottle depot system is regulated by the province. Roczkowsky said his association was in touch with the UCP shortly after their win and their proposal has been passed on to department staff to evaluate.

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Read more: Why rigid federal rules make marijuana containers really hard to recycle

According to Roczkowsky, Albertans make about five million trips to the bottle depot every year.

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