Canadian provinces today operate more than 45 different stewardship programs for products such as tires, oil, paint, pharmaceuticals, batteries, household hazardous waste and, of course, beverage containers. Milk packaging traditionally has been sacrosanct because it is a socalled “basis staple” and therefore should not carry any additional costs, including packaging stewardship costs.
More recently, however, milk packaging has been pulled into the stewardship arena (see Table 1 and above map). In fact, the dairy industry has entered voluntarily into various stewardship agreements on its own. But, it should be noted that consistent with these industry-led initiatives was the very real threat of expanding deposit-return programs that would have included milk containers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.