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Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs
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Modernized Deposit-Refund

Objective of deposit-refund modernization

Expanding the deposit-refund system to include more beverage containers enhance recovery and facilitate reclamation. Basing the bottle deposit system on containers—not contents—will also reduce consumer confusion. Moreover, the deposit-refund system is an effective incentive that increases the container recovery rate for beverages consumed in both the home and public settings. The container recovery rate for returnable containers has stagnated for more than 10 years. Deposit amounts are insufficient to encourage individuals to return the containers, especially for ready-to-drink beverages consumed outside the home, the proportion of which is rising steadily. Increasing the deposit amount will spur the return of these containers and avoid having them end up in landfills or in the wild.

The reform will establish the preconditions for rethinking deposit-refund and selective collection in a logic of circularity. Modernization will enable conditions to be put in place to rethink the deposit-refund and selective collection systems in a logic of circularity. It will also help to transform the container value chain so that recovery and reclamation can be handled locally. At-source sorting of redeemable containers promotes the quality of residual materials, which in turn facilitates recycling and circularity, especially of glass. It then becomes easier to produce bottles and other products from used bottles. This measure will fight climate change by limiting shipping these types of residual materials and reducing the extraction of raw materials, thereby making recycled materials available for conversion in a closed, local loop.

The Regulation and 2023 regulatory amendments

The Regulation respecting the development, implementation and financial support of a deposit refund system for certain containersThis hyperlink will open in a new window. assigns responsibility for developing, implementing, and funding a modernized deposit-refund system to producers that sell, market or otherwise distribute all 100 milliliters to 2 liters ready-to-drink beverage containers, in accordance with the extended producer responsibility (EPR) approach. Management of the system is assigned to a management body designated by RECYC-QUÉBEC to represent the producers (DMB).

2023 regulatory amendments

Amendments to the Regulation were introduced in August 2023, following a public consultation that ran from July 19 to August 3, 2023. The objectives of the amendments were as follows:

  • Provide for the modernized deposit-refund system to come into effect in two phases, over a period of 16 months:
    • Phase 1 (November 1, 2023):
      • Targeted containers: beer and soft drink containers and aluminum containers (e.g. juice, cider or sparkling water cans);
      • Minimum of 1,200 return locations;
      • Mandatory collection of returnable containers from on-premises consumption establishments (e.g., restaurants, hotels, cafeterias) with a seating capacity of more than 75;
    • Phase 2 (March 1, 2025):
      • Targeted containers: all ready-to-drink beverage containers from 100 milliliters to 2 liters;
      • Minimum of 1,500 return locations;
      • Mandatory collection of returnable containers from on-premises consumption establishments with a capacity of at least 20 seats;
  • Require cost modulation to encourage the use of refillable containers;
  • Align the definition of «targeted person» with that of other regulations so as to include brand owners with an establishment in Quebec;
  • Improve and align the parameters for the implementation of mandatory recovery plans when one or more prescribed performance rates are not met with the Regulation respecting a system of selective collection of certain residual materialsThis hyperlink will open in a new window. and the Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of products by enterprisesThis hyperlink will open in a new window.;
  • To provide for a period during which clients can be reimbursed for the full deposit on a beverage container purchased before the new system was implemented, when this amount exceeds the new deposit amount.

For more information on the August 2023 regulatory amendments, see the following:

Rollout of the deposit-refund system

Rollout of deposit-refund to 100 ml – 2 l ready-to-drink beverage containers (French, PDF, 138 KB)This hyperlink will open in a new window.

Key changes introduced by the modernization of deposit-refund in Québec

All 100 milliliters to 2 liters ready-to-drink beverage containers used for wine, spirits and cider, juice and milk containers, and water bottles, will be gradually added to the list of currently covered beer and soft drink redeemable containers. This expansion will more than double the number of deposit-refund containers in the system by 2025, in two phases.

Deposit-refund modernization will also involve the following significant changes:

  • The amount of the deposit will rise to $0.10 for most containers covered and $0.25 for 500 milliliters or more, glass containers.
  • Producers that market target products in reusable containers can set a different deposit amount for them.
  • Producers that market target products in Québec will be responsible for developing, implementing and funding the system. Consequently, they will be tasked with recovering the containers until the final reclamation of all packaging materials is complete. To achieve this result, they assign the mandate to the Designated Management Body (DMB).
  • The DMB must achieve defined recovery, reclamation, local reclamation and recycling rates and report annually to the Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs and RECYC-QUÉBEC. If it does not achieve the expected outcomes, remediation measures and increased funding contributions to the system are required of the DMB to bolster the system’s performance and foster the achievement of prescribed outcomes. To satisfy performance requirements, the DMB cooperates with its stakeholders in order to foster the eco-design of their redeemable containers, local reclamation, and closed loop recycling.
  • The network of redeemable container return sites must be able to manage a greater variety of sizes and materials and more containers. Certain retailers will no longer be obligated to accept redeemable containers. New return sites specifically intended for the deposit-refund system replace this feature.
  • The DMB must set up a collection service for redeemable containers consumed on the premises of restaurants, hotels, and cafeterias, etc., in Quebec with a minimum seating capacity of 20;
  • The deposit-refund system DMB is required to agree on a harmonization system with the selective collection DMB that sets operational and financial arrangements to take account of materials targeted by one system that end up in the other.

New containers targeted by the deposit-refund system

All containers used to market ready-to-drink beverages from 100 milliliters to 2 liters made of plastic, glass, metal, fibres (multi-layer containers), a combination of these materials, any other material or a combination of materials will be covered by the deposit, whether they are single- or multi-fill containers. The only exceptions are flexible plastic containers (bags) such as «vinier» and those added at point of sale (e.g. coffee cups). Rollout of the system for all containers will take place in the following two phases:

  1. November 1, 2023: addition of non-redeemable aluminum containers (e.g., juice, sparkling water or cider cans) to other containers already subject to a deposit (beer and soft drinks);
  2. March 1, 2025: the addition of all other containers (glass, other breakables materials, plastic, ferrous metals, multilayered, biosourced) for beverages (juice, water, milk, wine, spirits, etc.) that were not returnable by November 1, 2023.

Designation of the management body representing the producers

On October 24, 2022, RECYC-QUÉBEC (French)This hyperlink will open in a new window. selected the Association québécoise de récupération des contenants de boissons (AQRCB)This hyperlink will open in a new window. as the Designated Management Body (DMB) for the next five years, with a mandate to represent the target producers in respect of their obligation to develop, implement and fund a modernized system of selective collection.

Rollout of the network of drop-off sites

By November 1, 2023, the DMB must implement a network of drop-off return sites comprising at least 1,200 locations in southern Québec. This number must rise to at least 1,500 locations by March 1, 2025. Additional drop-off sites in isolated or remote areas will be set up based on need. The number of drop-off sites shall not include bulk drop-off points. The network can be rounded out by a private recovery network for reusable containers such as brown beer bottles.

The network of drop-off points must also comply with criteria regarding the number of locations by population bracket and Regional County Municipality (RCM) or equivalent territory recovery capacity. Retailers that sell products in redeemable containers and whose stores have an area reserved for sales of more than 375 m2 (4,036 sq. ft.) must participate in the network, independently or in cooperation with other retailers, and comply with specific criteria. The drop-off sites may be located inside their stores or in a separate structure. In addition to retailer drop-off sites, others may be added to the network and reserved for this purpose whether or not they are retailer-managed. To facilitate consumer return of redeemable containers, all types of containers (including refillables) are accepted at all drop-off sites and handled in a way that enables reuse.

Servicing of on-site consumption establishments and isolated or remote territories

The Designated Management Body (DMB) must offer a redeemable container collection service to on-site consumption establishments such as restaurants, bars, and hotels, and to institutional food services. The service is rolled out it two phases, as follows:

  • Locations with seating capacity in excess of 75 must be serviced by the DMB no later than November 2023;
  • Locations with seating capacity of 20 or more must be serviced by the DMB no later than March 2025.

Operational procedures must be discussed beforehand and formally agreed between the DMB and representatives of the on-site consumption establishments. The various types of establishments must also participate in the redeemable container collection service.

The DMB is not obliged to serve establishments with seating capacity of less than 20. They are, however, required to participate in the deposit-refund system by returning empty containers to the nearest return location, or request personalized collection, if such a service exists and has been approved in advance by the DMB.

The DMB and representatives of isolated or remote territories shall also together determine the operational procedures and financial arrangements covering the agreement to service these areas, bearing in mind each territory’s distinctive characteristics. The isolated or remote territories at issue are the MRC de Minganie, the MRC de Caniapiscau et du Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent, the James Bay region as described in the Schedule of the James Bay Region Development Act, and the territory of the Kativik Regional Government, as set out in section 2 (V) of the Act respecting Northern villages and the Kativik Regional Government, V-6.1

Mandatory producer outcomes

The DMB must achieve performance level outcomes that are subject to annual audit. If the DMB does not achieve the prescribed outcomes in any given year, it will be obliged to submit a remediation plan to the government and invest funds in an amount set by regulation to implement the measures stipulated in the plan in order to achieve the prescribed outcome rates.

The traceability of residual materials must be ensured up to their final destination so that they are considered in the calculation of the achieved performance rates, which will encourage the growth of local and neighbouring market solutions. Landfilled residual materials, residual materials subject to utilization for energy purposes or that undergo biological treatment cannot be calculated in the performance rate except if treatment occurs in remote or isolated territories.

Prescribed Outcomes–Deposit-Refund System

Type of container Recovery Reclamation1 Local reclamation2 Recycling3
2026 2028 2030 2032 2026 2028 2030 2032
Metal 75% 80% 85% + 5%
two years
up to
75% 80% 85% + 5%
two years
up to
80% in 2026 50% in 2026
Plastic 55% 75% 80% 53% 73% 78% 80% in 2026 50% in 2026
Glass and other breakables 60% 75% 80% 58% 73% 78% 90% in 2026 50% in 2026
Multilayer (fibres) - 65% 70% - 60% 65% 80% in 2027 50% in 2028
Bio-sourced - 75% 80% - 73% 78% 80% in 2028 50% in 2026
Reusable glass and other breakable materials 85% 90% 90% 90% 90% 90% 90% in 2026 50% in 2026
Reusable containers made of other materials - 75% 80% - 90% 90% 80% in 2028 50% in 2026
Overall 70% 80% 85% 65% 75% 80%    

1 For reusable containers, the rate corresponds to the reclamation of spent containers previously reused at least 10 times, on average.
2 A maximum of 30% of the total weight of residual materials sent to a local reclamation site can be deemed reclaimed locally but in fact, processed elsewhere than in Québec for the purposes of achieving the overall local reclamation rate. Reclamation is deemed local if occurring in Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
3 Recycling is defined as the reclamation of residual materials for the manufacture of new containers, packaging, or printed matter in order to promote closed-loop circularity.


Statute and Regulation

Additional information

Topical factsheets

Documents produced under the mandates of the working groups