pop can tax ontario

Ontario is getting hit with a new 'pop can tax' next month and people have thoughts

Starting next month, Ontario consumers can expect to pay an extra "pop can tax" every time they purchase a non-alcoholic beverage. 

Industry-funded organization, the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA), is set to impose the new fees on beverage companies starting June 1, which is about two months later than what was originally planned so that further consultation could take place. 

The extra time allowed CBCRA to connect with manufacturers, brand holders, and members to "design a more fulsome communication rollout for the new Container Recycling Fee."

You can expect to pay anywhere from one to three cents extra per container every time you purchase a non-alcoholic beverage such as pop, juice, or bottled water, and the new fee will most likely appear on your receipt as a separate charge (like the HST). 

The fee is part of an initiative called "Recycle Everywhere," which asks producers of waste to fund recycling systems. 

Although producers still have discretion over whether or not to pass along costs to consumers, some are calling the new fee a clear "cash grab." 

"Retailers may then choose to pass it on to consumers," said executive director of CBCRA Ken Friesen. "It's important to note that the container recycling fee is charged to beverage producers; it is not a tax levied by government." 

The Ontario government has expressed its expectation that consumers should not bear the costs of supporting the recycling program, although there are no definitive consequences for producers who choose to do so. 

"This is a money grab, pure and simple," said Ontario Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Jay Goldberg.

"While other provinces have can and bottle deposits, this is akin to a tax because consumers have no way to get their money back. Ford is allowing large corporations to impose a punitive new fee on Ontarians, with the corporations getting the financial benefit."

Lead photo by

Charlie Wollborg

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