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Quebec is struggling with the late expansion of the deposit refund system

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In March 2025, it will be possible to return wine bottles, plastic containers and all our beverage containers, with the expansion of the deposit refund system in Quebec. The process has already begun with an expansion for all aluminum cans, but there's some sand in the gears and we’re seeing more and more issues being covered in the news. Let’s take a closer look.

In a nutshell

In January 2020, the government promised to extend the deposit refund system to virtually all beverage containers and to set higher amounts in order to encourage their return. It looked good on paper. In reality, the planned implementation has been postponed several times, the new types of containers will not be returnable until only 2025 (meaning that over a billion glass and plastic containers will be wasted in the meantime) and the suggested amounts for the deposit refund with the new system are not high enough to ensure satisfactory return rates.

It has recently come to light that the industry that was mandated by the government to manage the new system had not prepared adequately for the roll out of the initial stages. In grocery and convenience stores across Quebec - officially identified as return points - it has sometimes been impossible to return our containers. New drop-off points for new types of containers may not open in time. The result of this lack of planning is that containers are going to waste, piling up on our sidewalks and in our parks.

The last drop that made the plastic water bottle overflow

This messiness has gone on long enough. 2 million plastic containers are wasted every day in Quebec. We can't afford any more delays in getting the deposit refund system right. Expanding the system is the right solution, but it must be well executed, effective and simple for people. That's where the problem currently lies.

But we can even do better to address the waste crisis, going even further than the expanded deposit refund system. We’re talking about reusable containers - beer bottles for example. Since they can be used 10 to 25 times, it's hard to beat reusable containers when it comes to reducing waste.

Deposit refund, recycling or landfill?

Sort it out

We can't wait any longer

The government must respect the deadlines set for the implementation of the extended deposit refund system, increase the deposit amounts to encourage a better return rate, and encourage refillable container systems. If, like us and 77% of Quebecers, you think it's urgent to take action on the issue of recyclable materials ending up in a landfill, tell the government!

Call on the government to do better on the deposit refund system

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