Launch of phase 1 of deposit-refund modernization on November1, 2023 Consignaction: the official emblem of deposit-refund in Quebec

On the road to the modernized and expanded deposit-refund 

Montreal, September 28, 2023 - On November 1, the first phase of a vast project to modernize and expand deposit-refund will get underway across Quebec. All aluminum beverage containers from 100 ml to 2 l will be added to the existing deposit-return system. In addition, the deposit-refund fee will be increased to 10 cents on most beverage containers. Containers recovered through the deposit-refund system are 100% recycled.

"The modernization of deposit-refund is an eagerly-awaitedcircular economy project. For almost 40 years, Quebecers have been strongly supporting this initiative and contributing to its success," points out Normand Bisson, President and CEO of the Association québécoise de récupération de contenants de boissons (AQRCB). "Together with all our partners in the recovery chain, we're doing everything we can to welcome new volumes and raise the recovery rate from 73% to 90% over time."

At the same time, the AQRCB will retain the Consignaction brand as its official emblem to promote its activities to the general public and stakeholders. The modernization of deposit-refund is a necessary environmental project which aims to recover and recycle a greater number of beverage containers, and to develop a network of channels for the recovery of materials, all with a view to reducing our ecological footprint. Currently, some 2.5 billion beer and soft drink containers are targeted by deposit-refund. Eventually, the number of returnable beverage containers will rise to around 5 billion.

November 1, 2023 marks an important milestone for the responsible management of residual materials in Quebec. As of this date, RECYC-QUÉBEC will transfer responsibility for the system to the AQRCB and beverage container producers, while continuing its role as a federator for the industry, supporting it in this major transition. This initiative contributes directly to preserving natural resources by reducing the quantity of materials used.

Main changes in Phase 1

Extend deposit-refund to all aluminum beverage containers

The modernization of deposit-refund will be rolled out in two phases. On November 1, 2023, deposit-refund will be extended to all beverages sold in aluminum containers ranging in size from 100 ml to 2 litres. This will increase the annual volume of beverage containers covered by deposit-refund by more than 300 million units. Aluminium is an infinitely recyclable material. It is estimated that it takes around 60 days from the time a can is returned to the shelf to the time it is sold again.
shelves at retailer.

deposit-refund increases to 10 cents
The deposit-refund fee will be increased to 10 cents for the majority of beverage containers, with the exception of certain 500 ml to 2 l glass bottles, already subject to a deposit, which will be returned at 25 cents. For reasons of standardization, the deposit-refund amount for beer cans over 450 ml, previously refundable at 20 cents, will be adjusted to 10 cents. Citizens are invited to return their 20-cent beverage containers now for a refund of the
the 20-cent deposit-refund .

"The amount of the deposit-refund represents a significant financial incentive to encourage citizens to return more beverage containers to the recycling system.
citizens to return more beverage containers to the deposit-refund system and give them a second life.
give them a second life," explains Mr. Bisson.

Interactive map of Consignaction return site
Under the regulations, all retailers selling returnable beverages and whose sales area exceeds 375 m2 (or 4,036 ft2 ) will be required to take back returnable beverage containers by November 1, 2023, either directly or through a grouping agreement with other retailers. Retailers of equal or lesser surface area are not covered by this obligation, but are invited to participate in the deposit-refund system on a voluntary basis during the first phase of modernization.
during the first phase of the modernization.

By November 1, 2023, citizens will be able to consult the map of return locations at www.consignaction.ca. Gradually, the map will be expanded to include a wider range of return locations, from grocery stores to high-volume street-front locations. As a result, by spring 2025, some 1,500 return locations will be identified with the Consignaction brand to meet the needs of citizens, businesses and organizations.

On-site consumption establishments

As of November 1, all on-site eating establishments, including restaurants and institutional cafeterias, will be required to participate in deposit-refund.
Any establishment serving meals to at least 75 people at a time will have to register on the portal
on the AQRCB website: www.aqrcb.org in October.
Phase 2 - Extension of deposit-refund to all beverage containers from 100 ml to 2 l
On March 1, 2025, deposit-refund will be extended to all beverage containers from 100 ml to 2 l made of
aluminum, glass, plastic or multi-layer beverage containers, such as wine and spirits bottles
water bottles and milk or juice cartons.
The Association québécoise de récupération des contenants de boissons (AQRCB) and Consignaction
The Association québécoise de récupération des contenants de boissons (AQRCB) is the designated
organization mandated to develop, implement, finance and manage the modernized
deposit-refund system based on the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) principle. THE AQRCB
brings together beverage producers involved in the recovery, reuse, recycling and
beverage containers in Quebec. Since 2001, Consignaction programs have been
promoting the recovery of returnable beverage containers among citizens and
and businesses. For more information, visit www.consignaction.ca
For further information, please contact Annie Jolicoeur, 514 231-5818, [email protected]
Jacinthe Ouellette, 514 246-0567, [email protected] - in the regions

Main changes in Phase 1

Extend deposit-refund to all aluminum beverage containers

The modernization of deposit-refund will be rolled out in two phases. On November 1, 2023, deposit-refund will be extended to all beverages sold in aluminum containers ranging in size from 100 ml to 2 litres. This will increase the annual volume of beverage containers covered by deposit-refund by more than 300 million units. Aluminium is an infinitely recyclable material. It is estimated that it takes around 60 days from the time a can is returned to the shelf to the time it is sold again.
shelves at retailer.

deposit-refund increases to 10 cents
The deposit-refund fee will be increased to 10 cents for the majority of beverage containers, with the exception of certain 500 ml to 2 l glass bottles, already subject to a deposit, which will be returned at 25 cents. For reasons of standardization, the deposit-refund amount for beer cans over 450 ml, previously refundable at 20 cents, will be adjusted to 10 cents. Citizens are invited to return their 20-cent beverage containers now for a refund of the
the 20-cent deposit-refund .

"The amount of the deposit-refund represents a significant financial incentive to encourage citizens to return more beverage containers to the recycling system.
citizens to return more beverage containers to the deposit-refund system and give them a second life.
give them a second life," explains Mr. Bisson.

Interactive map of Consignaction return site
Under the regulations, all retailers selling returnable beverages and whose sales area exceeds 375 m2 (or 4,036 ft2 ) will be required to take back returnable beverage containers by November 1, 2023, either directly or through a grouping agreement with other retailers. Retailers of equal or lesser surface area are not covered by this obligation, but are invited to participate in the deposit-refund system on a voluntary basis during the first phase of modernization.
during the first phase of the modernization.

By November 1, 2023, citizens will be able to consult the map of return locations on the consignaction.ca website. Gradually, a wider range of return locations will be added, either at the grocery store or in high-volume, storefront locations. As a result, by spring 2025, some 1,500 return locations will be identified with the Consignaction brand to meet the needs of citizens, businesses and organizations.

On-site consumption establishments

As of November 1, all food service establishments (FSEs), including restaurants and institutional cafeterias, will be required to participate in deposit-refund. Any establishment serving meals to at least 75 people at a time will have to register on the AQRCB website portal: www.aqrcb.org in October.

Phase 2 - Extending deposit-refund to all beverage containers from 100 ml to 2 l

On March 1, 2025, deposit-refund will be extended to all beverage containers from 100 ml to 2 l made of aluminum, glass, plastic or multi-layers, such as wine and spirits bottles, water bottles and milk or juice cartons.

The Association québécoise de récupération des contenants de boissons (AQRCB) and Consignaction

The Association québécoise de récupération des contenants de boissons (AQRCB) is the designated management organization mandated to develop, implement, finance and manage the deposit-refund system, which has been modernized according to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) principle. The AQRCB brings together beverage producers involved in the recovery, reuse, recycling and reclamation of beverage containers in Quebec. Since 2001, Consignaction programs have been
promoting the recovery of returnable beverage containers among citizens and businesses. To find out more, visit consignaction.ca

For further information, please contact

Annie Jolicoeur, 514 231-5818, [email protected]
Jacinthe Ouellette, 514 246-0567, [email protected] - regionally