On November 1, 2023, Quebec is taking the first step toward its modernized, expanded deposit-refund system with the Consignaction program. With two weeks to go before the new deposit amount comes into force, people are being urged to return their beer cans larger than 450 mL, currently redeemable for a 20-cent refund, to a retailer before November 15 to be sure of receiving that full refund amount.
10 cents for most redeemable containers
As an incentive for Quebecers to recover and recycle, the amount of the deposit on most beverage containers will be increasing to 10 cents from 5 cents. For the purpose of standardizing and simplifying the system, however, the deposit amount for aluminum beer cans larger than 450 mL is changing to 10 cents from 20 cents. People are therefore invited to return those containers no later than November 15, 2023, because after that date the refund on all returned cans will be 10 cents.
Expansion of the system to include more beverage cans
All aluminum beverage containers of between 100 mL and 2 L will be redeemable as of November 1, in addition to all those that are already redeemable. As a result, the number of containers included in the deposit-refund system will increase by more than 300 million units a year. Aluminum is an infinitely recyclable material. It is estimated that it takes just 60 days from the time a can is redeemed until it is again available for sale on a retailer’s shelves.
Modernization of the deposit-refund system is a much-needed environmental initiative that aims, on one hand, at recovering and recycling greater numbers of beverage containers and, on the other, at expanding the network of value chains for reclamation of materials, with the overarching goal of reducing our collective ecological footprint. Currently, some 2.5 billion beer and soft-drink containers are redeemable under the system, and 100% of recovered containers are recycled. When modernization and expansion is complete, the number of redeemable containers will have increased to around 5 billion.
“Quebecers have been actively taking part in this circular-economy initiative for nearly 40 years,” says Normand Bisson, President and CEO, Quebec Beverage Container Recycling Association (QBCRA). “Thanks to their efforts, we have achieved a recovery rate of 73%, which is substantial. With the changes introduced as part of deposit-refund system modernization and expansion, we are targeting a rate of 90% by 2032.”
Map of Consignaction return sites
To help build a map of Consignaction return sites, all retailers who sell beverages in redeemable containers must register on the QBCRA website, qbcra.org, immediately. Retailers that have a sales area greater than 375 m2 (4,036 sq ft) are required to accept returns of redeemable beverage containers as of November 1, 2023, either directly or through a grouping agreement with other retailers. Those with a sales area equal to or smaller than 375 m2 are not targeted by this requirement, but are invited to take part in the deposit-refund system on a volunteer basis during the first phase of the modernization. Between now and November 1, people will be able to view a map of return sites on the website www.consignaction.ca
Establishments offering on-site consumption included in the system
All establishments offering on-site consumption, including restaurants and institutional cafeterias, will be required to take part in the deposit-refund system as of November 1, 2023. Establishments supplying meals to at least 75 people at a time must register on the QBCRA website, qbcra.org
About Consignaction and the Quebec Beverage Container Recycling Association (QBCRA)
Since 2001, programs branded with the Consignaction name have promoted beverage-container recovery to citizens and companies. Consignaction is the official emblem for promoting the activities of the Quebec Beverage Container Recycling Association (QBCRA) to the public and stakeholders. The QBCRA is the Designated Management body (DMB) for the development, implementation, financing and management of the modernized deposit-refund system, in line with the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Its members are the various beverage producers involved in the recovery, reuse, recycling and reclamation of beverage containers in Quebec. For more information, visit www.consignaction.ca
For further information: Annie Jolicoeur, 514 231-5818, [email protected]