Petition calls for deposit on wine and spirit bottles at SAQ

If it's good enough for beer, why not for wine and spirits too?

It's a question a trio of unions are demanding the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) and Quebec government answer in a petition now available on the National Assembly's website.

The CSN, FTQ and Canadian Union of Public Employees want the liquor store to collect empty wine and spirit bottles to improve Quebec's low rate of glass recycling.

The groups point to a 2015 report by Recyc-Québec which showed only 14 per cent of the glass placed in recycling bins across the province actually ends up being recycled. There are complications sorting the glass containers from the many contaminates in a recycling bin, making it more likely the glass ends up in the garbage.

The unions point out Quebec is one of the only provinces with no deposit on glass bottles, except in the case of beer bottles.

Data shows with the deposit on beer bottles the recycle rate is near 100 per cent.

"It's sad when you think about the fact that 218 million bottles of wine and spirits are sold each year in Quebec" said Nathalie Arguin , Secretary General of the Federation of Public Service Employees-CSN (FEESP-CSN). "The laissez-faire attitude has gone on for too long."

In December the CSN launched a campaign to end glass waste in Quebec, proposing the SAQ set a 25¢ deposit on each bottle sold, which could then be returned for a refund or put on the Crown Corporations customer loyalty card.

The petition, which calls for a parliamentary committee to study the issue, is available online until June 9, 2018.