Quebec expands recycling deposit system to include glass, metal, plastic bottles

All beverage containers, including glass bottles for wine and alcohol, will be able to be turned in under a new deposit system announced by the Quebec government, Thursday.

All containers, from 100 millilitres to two litres in size, will be eligible for the deposit — including those made of metal, plastic or glass.

Wine and spirit bottles can be exchanged for $0.25 each. Other bottles will receive $0.10.

Containers made of cardboard, such as boxed water, will be included in a future expansion of the system, the government said.

“It is a little shameful, the amount of plastic and glass bottles that are collected at the dump, or even in our own rivers, and even on the beaches of the Magdalen Islands,” Quebec Premier François Legault said in a statement.

“Quebecers want to do their part for the planet. But it has to work.”

The new system is expected to come into effect “gradually” starting in fall 2022.

The announcement comes after consultations were held in August on the local recovery and recycling of glass.

Under the current system, nearly three quarters of the glass collected for recycling in the province goes to landfills, largely due to contamination and breakage during the blue bin collection process.

The wine and liquor bottles sold by Quebec’s liquor control board, the SAQ, account for about half of the glass found in recycling bins.

Previously, the SAQ said it was open to the idea of a glass deposit system, but said its network of stores was not equipped to collect the empty bottles.

The government said it plans to have recovery points at “retailers and depot centres set up by the industry.”


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