Wine bottle recycling in Quebec – On Thursday January 30th, the Quebec government announced they would be expanding on the province’s bottle deposit program. Although the new program still needs to be approved by the National Assembly, it is expected to be running by the autumn of 2022 – with some pilot projects being put in place beginning this year. The present system was first introduced in 1984 and based only on content, such as beer and soft drinks. It will continue to apply until then and eventually be changed to one based on the type of container, not content.
SAQ would collect deposits on glass bottles
The first step of the new program will include all ‘ready-to-drink’ beverage containers from 100 milliliters to 2 liters including: bottles of wine and spirits, water bottles, plastic containers not currently returned and aluminum cans, also not currently returned – such as those containing iced tea, carbonated or flavoured water and vegetable juice. In the second step, following two years later, multilayer cardboard containers such as milk and juice cartons will also be included. The proposed deposit will be set at $0.25 for ready-to-drink beverage containers and $0.10 for all other returnable containers – which will be refunded to the consumer up return of the items.
Currently, 2.4 billion containers of beer and soft drinks are collected annually through deposit systems. It is estimated that more than 4 billion containers will be returned each year with the expanding program, including more than 1 billion plastic water bottles. In their press release, the government explains (roughly translated), “To give you an idea of the quantity that this can represent, if we put the plastic water bottles consumed each year in Quebec end to end, we would circumnavigate the equator of the Earth”.
Our government acts where previous governments have been negligent,” stated Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change. “The deposit system should have been modernized a long time ago. We make the choice to govern in the interest of Quebecers through this concrete and pragmatic action. With this reform and those to come, Quebec is on its way to becoming an important player in protecting the environment around the world.” For more detailed information on the new program go to this link.