Bottle Bill Resource Guide

 As of August 15, 2021, Nunavut has elected to scrap deposits on plastic and glass. Currently, only aluminum cans are being accepted with deposits. The article below has been edited to reflect this.

Name of Program N/A (No formal CDL is put into place, but instead, there is a hybrid between an official contracted program and a public co-op EPR program)
Date Implemented

2001 (Iqaluit Return Program, lapsed)

2010 (Arctic Co-Ops Program)

Containers Covered


Amount of Deposit

Cans: 0.15 CAD; 0.10 CAD returned at depot [1]

Arctic Co-Ops Program: [2]

N/A; funded through 0.10 CAD fee on disposable plastic bags


In 2007, the Nunavut Department of Environment ran three pilot test programs to determine the feasibility of a territory-wide container deposit scheme; these ended in 2010, with the Department deeming that such a program would be too expensive to expand and maintain because of transportation and infrastructure costs. [3] Despite this, the Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission continues to charge a deposit fee for aluminum alcoholic containers. Consumers can redeem them at the Southeast Nunavut Company Ltd., also known as Northern Collectables, in the capital Iqaluit. Northern Collectables is the only contracted recycling depot in the entire Territory. [4] No data is available on the value of collected deposits, nor the return rate. [5] Glass was collected under the Iqaluit Return Program, while aluminum was collected under the Arctic Co-Operatives Program. [6]

In August 2021, the Government of Nunavut announced that it would be scrapping deposits on plastic and glass alcoholic bottles, with all alcoholic sales no longer charging the deposit from March 31, 2021 onwards. Consumers were allowed to collect refunds on the deposits until July 31, 2021. The Government cited a lack of rebottling and recycling facilities in the territory as the reason behind the program's suspension, stating, "Until a couple months ago, the NULC was charging its customers a deposit on bottles just to see them end up in local landfills anyways." [7]

Deposits are still being charged on aluminum cans, with businesses being allowed to keep whatever profits are made from returned deposits. [8]

Arctic Co-Operatives

Arctic Co-Operatives is a service federation owned and operated by a collective of 31 co-operatives within Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Shortly after the end of the Nunavut trial schemes, Arctic Co-Op stores began to allow people to return their aluminum cans at any of the collective's stores. Although there is no formal deposit amount, for each full sealift shipping container that each community fills, a community non-profit group receives $1,500 CAD; at roughly 40,000 cans per shipping container, this is about $0.04 CAD per can. [9] Currently, 24 of the 25 Nunavut communities participate in the program, excluding Clyde River.



[1] "2014-15 Nunavut Liquor Commission Annual Report." Nunavut Liquor Commission.  2015.

[2] "Arctic Co-ops recycling turns empty pop cans into cash." Varga, Peter. Nunatsiaq News. May 29, 2013.

[3] "Solid Waste Management in Nunavut: A Backgrounder." Nunavut Department of Environment. 2010.

[4] "Iqaluit entrepreneur keeps empty cans and bottles flowing out of Iqaluit." Varga, Peter. Nunatsiaq News. April 25, 2014.

[5] Private Correspondence w/ Samantha Millette, Research and Analysis Coordinator at Reloop Platform. 2020.

[6] See Footnote 2.

[7] "Nunavut scraps bottle deposits because glass, plastic end up in landfill." Lamberink, Liny. CBC/Radio-Canada. August 15, 2021.

[8] Ibid.

[9] "Who Pays What? An Analysis of "Beverage Container Collection and Costs in Canada 2018." CM Consulting. October 5, 2018.


Last updated on August 10, 2023.

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Contact - Nunavut


Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission

Government of Nunavut
P.O. Box 1000 Station 200
Iqaluit, Nunavut
X0A 0H0

Toll free: 1 (877) 212-6438
P: (867) 975-6000
Fax: (867) 975-6099

E: [email protected]


Arctic Co-operatives Limited

Nunavut Regional Office

1121 Mivvik Street
P.O. Box 697
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0
P: (867) 979-2448
Fax: (867) 979-2535

Southeast Nunavut Co Ltd (Iqaluit Recycling Depot)

Ulu Lane, Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0, Canada

P: (867) 979-6495

E: [email protected]