Bottle Bill Resource Guide


Name  Environment Quality Act / Agreement Relating to the Consignment, Recovery & Recycling of Non-Refillable (Soft Drink/Beer) Containers
Date Implemented 1984 (Last updated 2022)
Beverages Covered
  • Beer
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Carbonated energy drinks

The following ready-to-drink beverages will be eligible starting November 2023: [1]

  • Wine
  • Spirits
  • Cider
  • Fruit and vegetable juices
  • Tea
  • Water (sparkling and non-sparkling)
  • Milk
Containers Covered

The following container material types between 100mL and 2L:

  • Aluminum
  • Plastic
  • Glass

Beginning November 2025:

  • Multi-layer/material containers
Beverages Not Covered
  • Non-carbonated energy and sports drinks
  • Milk and dairy alternatives
  • Ready-to-mix drinks and concentrates

These beverages will be covered after November 2023:

  • Water
  • Juice
  • Wine and spirits
Amount of Deposit
  • Soft drink containers & beer cans ≤ 450ml: 5¢CAD
  • Non-refillable beer > 450ml: 20¢ CAD
  • One-way glass containers ≤ 450ml: 10¢ CAD

After November 2023:

  • Non-glass containers: 10¢ CAD
  • Glass containers <500 mL: 10¢ CAD
  • Glass containers ≥ 500mL: 25¢ CAD
Reclamation System Return-to-retail
Handling Fee 2¢ CAD "return incentives" paid to retailers from unredeemed deposits (1¢ CAD for one-way glass containers)
Other Fees N/A.
Unredeemed Deposits Used by the Designated Management Bodies (DMBs), L'Association québécoise de récupération des contenants de boissons, to finance and manage the system. [2]
Program Success

Redemption Rates (5¢ CAD only): [3]

Material Type 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Aluminum 71.9% 72.0% 74.4% 71.8% 73.4% 74.1%
Glass 86.1% 88.1% 83.3% 83.1% 82.8% 80.2%
Plastic 65.6% 66.4% 70.0% 74.4% 72.6% 74.7%
Total 71.4% 71.5% 74.0% 72.3% 73.4% 74.3%
Complementary Recycling Programs

About 98% of households have access to curbside recycling (excludes residential and commercial occupancy). [4]



Quebec's deposit system was first implemented in 1984 to support the province's existing curbside recycling program. The province's system is characterized by a deposit refund system and an initiative to require industry to fund curbside collection for all remaining containers not part of the deposit-return system. If the funds are not sufficient in a given year to cover the system’s costs, producers may be required to cover the difference.

As of October 2022, L’Association québécoise de récupération des contenants de boissons (AQRCB) is the new management body designated by the Société Québécoise de récupération et de recyclage, more commonly known as Recyc-Québec, to manage and oversee the deposit-refund system. Two organizations administer Quebec's deposit system under Recyc-Quebec: AQCRB handles all non-alcoholic beverages along with wine and spirits (starting November 1, 2023), and the Québec Brewers Association handles beer. [5] Boissons Gazeuses Environnement (BGE) will handle all non-alcoholic beverages until October 31, 2023.

In January 2020, it was announced that the deposit system will be expanded to include all glass, plastic, and metal beverage containers between 100 mL and 2L. This will include previously excluded beverage types, like sparkling water, juices, and wine. The plan will raise the deposit value to $0.25 for wine and spirits bottles, and $0.10 for all other containers. [6] This expansion was originally expected to be rolled out in fall 2022 before being postponed to the spring of 2023. [7] [8] In May 2023, the plan was postponed again to 2025 due to concerns about a lack of infrastructure.

From July 2021 to April 2022, Quebec held a seven pilot project series with the objective of modernizing their deposit system. A second phase of three additional pilot projects began on October 24, 2022 and ended in April 2023. The results of the pilot projects will be available by report on June 1, 2023. The collected data will help facilitate an expanded deposit system that will process nearly 5 billion containers.

Soft Drinks

The soft drink industry founded Boissons Gazeuses Environnement, a nonprofit organization, to manage the administrative details of the return system in 1999.

The system mainly handles reclamation through return-to-retail. Soft drink distributors sell their products and pick up  empty containers from retail stores in their territory. Once the containers are returned, the bottlers pay the retailer the refund plus a handling fee/return incentive. Bottlers keep the scrap revenues from the containers they collect.

Initially, Quebec's program did not include non-alcoholic beverages like water, juice, and teas. In 1998, soft drink producers and grocery retailers lobbied for a curbside solution instead of a return-to-retail system proposed by the provincial government. In September 1998, the government released its "Québec Residual Materials Management Policy" to determine industry funding for the following decade. [9] The report addresses recyclable consumer packaging and requires industries which produce packaging collected by curbside recycling systems to contribute the large majority of funding for the net costs of municipal recycling through municipal reimbursement.

The schedule of fees for these costs is managed by Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), a non-profit organization that represents packaging producers. [10]

After the report's implementation, the 20% of beverage containers not previously covered by full producer responsibility (i.e. beer and soft drinks) are now covered by a system where producers pay 75% of the costs of curbside recycling. This is similar to the Manitoba-style 80% industry contribution towards curbside recycling costs.

Beer System

Non-refillable beer beverage containers are regulated by the same legislation as the non-refillables soft drink system, with both required to operate as return-to-retail. Bewers deliver all beer to retailers directly in urban areas; rural areas are served by  warehoused owned by Brewers Distribution Limited. Retailers pay the deposit on beer bottles on delivery to the store, and recoup it on sale. Retailers are reimbursed for refunds once the empty containers are picked up by the Brewers. No handling fees are paid.

Prior to 2019, Quebec had a quota system on refillable containers in place to ensure the prevalence of refillable containers in the beer market. The quota system require each beer producer to produce no more than 37.5% of their production (as measured by the number of containers produced) in non-refillable containers. This change was instituted to ensure that no Brewer could frustrate the intent of the quota law by selling beer in non-refillable glass and counting those sales along with their refillable glass percentage. This law was repealed in 2019, with beer producers able to produce any proportion of non-refillable and refillable containers. [11]


[1] "Modernization of deposit-refund." Quebec Ministère de l’Environnement (Ministry of Environment). Last accessed May 2023.

[2] O.C. 972-2022. "Regulation respecting the development, implementation and financial support of a deposit-refund system for certain containers." June 8, 2022.

[3] "Recovery Statistics." BOISSONS GAZEUSES ENVIRONNEMENT (BGE). Last updated 2022.

[4] "Access distribution in Canada, by province, 2007." Statistics Canada. Last updated December 19, 2012.

[5] "Global Deposit Book 2020: An Overview of Deposit Systems for One-Way Beverage Containers." Reloop Inc. December 15, 2020. 

[6] "Quebec to expand deposit system to cover all drink containers by 2022." National Post, Jaunary 30, 2020.

[7] "Quebec va de l'avant avec l'élargissement de la consigne,  trans. Quebec proceeds with expansion of the deposit system." Government of Quebec, January 30, 2020.

[8] "Quebec expanding drink container deposit system by 2022." Canada's National Observer, January 31, 2020.

[9] "Québec Residual Materials Management Policy, 1998-2008." Environnment Québec. 1998.

[10] Order of the Minister, Vol. 153, No. 26. (2021 SoC)



Last Updated on October 3, 2023.


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