Save on Foods has tightened up what recyclable items it will take back.
As of Jan. 1, the store stopped taking back house brand products of its competitors.
It will continue to take back name brand recyclable containers, delivering deposits back in return.
And it will take back other products, four-litre plastic milk jugs, for example in return for store loyalty points as a way of providing an incentive to recycle.
Save On manager Darren Davies said part of the reasoning behind not taking competitor containers is to encourage other outlets to develop their own recycling incentive programs.
“We should see if we can try to pressure some of the other retailers into doing it,” said Davies.
It also costs Save On money to take back competitors’ containers.
That’s because there’s no central system that handles recycling deposits.
So if Save On takes back, for instance, a house brand product from another store and refunds the deposit, there’s no way it can be repaid by that other store.
That means Save On, in a sense, is then subsidizing its competitors, said Davies.
“We’re taking the brunt of all that as well,” said Davies of recycling products.
“As far as I know we are the only retailer that gives any sort of incentive for anything outside of that deposit,” he said of the Save On program.
“We’re trying to do our part helping the environment by encouraging people to return their recyclables,” Davies said.
“If you want to recycle and do the right thing then you should be supporting the retailer that is doing that, which is us.”
Save on Foods will continue to accept containers and wrapping from its house brands, chiefly Western Family, as well as those from other brands with which it has arrangements.
A list of those brands is available at Save On’s recycling counter.
Brands like Coca Cola, for example, will also be accepted, he said, as the store sells those too and it would be hard to tell from where the containers originated.
In general, Save On accepts material including box board, plastic, plastic bags, other plastic, pop cans, other cans, milk jugs, glass, and milk and juice cartons.