Quebec takes bold steps to modernize and expand deposit-refund system
Quebec’s commitment to creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly environment is set to take a significant leap come November 1. The province is initiating the first phase of a grand scheme to rejuvenate and broaden its deposit-refund system.
Starting November 1, all aluminium beverage containers ranging from 100 mL to 2 L will be included in the deposit-refund system, broadening the current scope. What’s more, the deposit for most containers will now be a flat rate of 10 cents. A significant feature to note is that every container reclaimed through this system will be 100% recycled.
"Quebecers have backed and championed this system for almost four decades. The revamp of the deposit-refund system has been a highly anticipated circular-economy venture," stated Normand Bisson, President and CEO of the Quebec Beverage Container Recycling Association (QBCRA). He added, "With the collective effort of all recovery-chain partners, our aim is to push the current 73% recovery rate to a commendable 90%."
To maintain its brand recognition, the QBCRA will keep the “Consignaction” as the official representation for the deposit-refund system, driving its promotional campaigns for the wider public and associated stakeholders.
This modernization strategy holds a dual-purpose: to reclaim and recycle a more significant number of beverage containers and to bolster the network of value chains reclaiming materials.
Ultimately, the plan is to drastically reduce the province’s ecological footprint. Presently, the system covers about 2.5 billion beer and soft drink containers. Once the modernization reaches its completion, this figure will approximately double, hitting around 5 billion.
A comprehensive map of return sites will be accessible on www.consignaction.ca, with an expectation to have about 1,500 Consignaction-branded return locations in Quebec by spring 2025. Additionally, establishments like restaurants and institutional cafeterias will be incorporated into the deposit-refund system.
The second phase, scheduled for March 1, 2025, will further expand the system to include all beverage containers between 100 mL and 2 L, encompassing materials like glass, plastic, and multi-layer. In a monumental step on November 1, 2023, RECYC-QUÉBEC will delegate the responsibility for the deposit-refund system to the QBCRA and beverage container manufacturers. However, it will continue to play a pivotal role in bringing the industry together and assisting during this significant transformation.
Photo caption: Embracing a greener tomorrow: Quebec amplifies its circular-economy footprint with an expansive deposit-refund revolution, setting sights on a 90% recovery rate.
Photo credit: Tashi Farmilo