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Encorp Atlantic showcases new, improved Beverage Containers Program at N.B. school

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Earth Day highlights the things one person can do to help the globe, including things as simple as picking up a piece of litter while out for a walk or opting for shorter showers to help reduce water waste.

Another thing people can do is recycle.

To celebrate the important day, Encorp Atlantic visited students at Rothesay High School in New Brunswick to showcase its new and improved Beverage Containers Program.

On April 1, the province began giving full refunds on deposits through its revamped Beverage Containers Program. For more than 30 years of the program’s existence, New Brunswickers only received half back when recycling.

“Now when consumers go to their local redemption, they get either their full 10 cents or full 20 cents, which is double what they got before,” says Encorp Atlantic president Pierre Landry. “It’s great news in the sense we need to modernize the program.”

Landry says the move was not only made to help encourage residents to recycle more, but has also helped streamline administration and logistics. On top of that, the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has also reduced sorting requirement for redemption centre operators.

The added funds will benefit those who collect empty beverage containers, like the students at Rothesay High who benefit already from the Recycling Heroes in School Program.

Student Reese Anderson helps oversee the school program through her leadership class. So far this school year through the Beverage Container Program, students have collected more than 120,000 bottles totaling more than $13,000, which is put towards school events and sports teams.

“We know that we’ve worked hard and are able to feel like our hard work has helped out with things that we want to do within the school,” Anderson admits.

Part of Encorp’s plans when first implementing programs like this into schools was to help the next generation adopt good lifelong recycling habits.

The early indications show its’ working.

“It’s especially important for us as high school students,” Anderson says. “But it’s very important we relay this message onto younger students so the next generation of people just know, like, it’s second nature, and do all of these things to help out Earth.”

“The earth is what we live on, right, and we have to maintain the waste that goes out into the world and, like, we have to understand that this world is only as a strong as its weakest links,” says Grade 11 student Katarina Cameron, who added she has seen people recycling more now than when the program first started when she was in Grade 9.

Seeing the next generation taking these issues seriously gives officials hope they can improve the climate situation.

“It’s our planet, we only have one,” says Recycle NB CEO Frank LeBlanc. “There is no plan B, so take care of the planet now and it will be there for generations to come.”

Encorp is a not-for-profit producer responsibility organization managing the New Beverage Containers Program, with Landry saying the company’s primary focus to improve its environment performance. 

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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