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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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Modernization of deposit-refund

Objective of deposit-refund modernization

Expanding the deposit-refund system to include more beverage containers will 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 adjustments made in the wake of the public consultation

The Regulation respecting the development, implementation and financial support of a deposit refund system for certain containersCet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre. assigns responsibility for developing, implementing, and funding a modernized deposit-refund system to producers that sell, market or otherwise distribute all 100 ml to 2 l ready-to-drink beverage containers, in accordance with the extended producer responsibility (EPR) approach. Management of the system is assigned to an organization designated by RECYC-QUÉBEC to represent the producers.

Amendments to the regulation in the wake of the public consultation:

  • The deadlines for implementing the expanded deposit system have been extended by six months;
  • The criterion pertaining to the distance from the place of residence of citizens has been removed in order to give the designated management body (DMB) more flexibility to optimize the network;
  • Parameters allowing the DMB to determine a deposit value for reusable containers that is different from those prescribed by regulation have been added;
  • The reusability of containers has been added to the eco-modulation criteria for the amounts used to determine producer contributions;
  • Producers will need to ensure that all redeemable containers are barcoded;
  • The minimum surface area of the business establishment of a retailer required to accept redeemable containers has been increased from 232.26 m2 to 375 m2, in accordance with the Regulation respecting periods of admission to commercial establishments;
  • Any grouping of retailers for the management of a common return site must be approved in advance by the DMB;
  • Bulk drop-off points will be excluded from the calculation for reaching the required minimum of 1,500 return sites and for the types of return sites permitted for retailers who do not have an agreement with the DMB;
  • When return sites are located outside an establishment, the applicable business hours will need to be revised, whether the premises are operated by a single retailer or a group of retailers;
  • The DMB will need to indicate on its website the amounts applicable to the different types and formats of containers used to calculate the contributions required of producers;
  • Small producers will be better represented on the DMB’s board of directors;
  • The notion of local reclamation will be extended to the territories bordering Québec, with a cap on the quantities of reclaimed materials that may be taken into account in calculating the prescribed local reclamation rates;
  • The framework for the method used to award contracts for the collection of materials will be withdrawn;
  • Timelines have been revised and the arbitration process that may be necessary for system linkage has been improved;
  • The requirements for carrying out environmental audits of players in the value chain have been eased, in line with the proposed amendments to the Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of products by enterprises Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of products by enterprises (RRRRPE)Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre.;
  • The provisions pertaining to the compensation that the DMB must pay to RECYC-QUÉBEC to cover its management costs and other expenses have been adjusted;
  • Various provisions relating to aligning the deposit and selective collection regulations have been adjusted in order to modify certain deadlines and alleviate potential enforcement difficulties.

Rollout of the deposit-refund system

Rollout of deposit-refund to 100 ml –2 l ready-to-drink beverage containers (PDF, 70 KB)Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre.

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

All 100 ml to 2 l ready-to-drink beverage containers used for wine, spirits and cider, juice and milk containers, and water bottles, will be added to the list of currently covered beer and soft drink redeemable containers. This will more than double the number of deposit-refund containers.

Other significant changes:

  • The amount of the deposit will rise to $0.10 for most containers covered and $0.25 for 500 ml 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.
  • The Designated Management Body (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 will be required of the DMB to bolster the system’s performance and foster the achievement of prescribed outcomes. To satisfy performance requirements, the DMB will be asked to cooperate with stakeholders in order to foster the eco-design of their redeemable containers, local reclamation, and closed loop recycling.
  • The network of redeemable container drop-off sites will be established so as to manage more containers and a greater variety of sizes and materials. Certain retailers will no longer be obligated to accept redeemable containers. New drop-off sites specifically intended for the deposit-refund system will also become available.
  • The two DMBs are the Association québécoise de récupération des contenants de boissons and Éco Entreprises Québec (respectively representing producers in the modernized deposit-refund and selective collection systems). They will have to implement a harmonization system for setting operational and financial arrangements that take account of materials targeted by one system that end up in the other.

New containers targeted by the deposit-refund system

The expanded deposit-refund system will cover all single-use and reusable containers made of plastic, glass, metal, or fibre (multilayer), or a mixture of these materials, as well as any other material or mixture of materials used for 100 ml to 2 l ready-to-drink beverages. The application of a deposit to multilayer containers targeted by the deposit-refund system will become effective on November 1, 2025, two years later than the effective date for the other types of containers.

Designation of the management body representing the producers

On October 24, 2022, RECYC-QUÉBEC (French)Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre. selected the Association québécoise de récupération des contenants de boissons (AQRCB) 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 financially support a modernized system of selective collection. The DMB must comply with specific deadlines for meeting various regulatory requirements, in particular for signing agreements and other contracts with actors of the new system prior to its full rollout on November 1, 2023.

Rollout of the network of drop-off sites

By November 1, 2023, the DMB must have implemented a network of drop-off sites comprising at least 1,500 locations in southern Québec, as well as additional drop-off sites in isolated or remote areas (agreement depending on needs). 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 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 can be located inside their stores or in a separate structure. In addition to retailer drop-off sites, others will 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 reusables) will be accepted at all drop-off sites 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’s 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 and representatives of isolated or remote territories shall also determine the operational procedures and financial arrangements covering the agreement to service the territories, 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.

Mandatory producer outcomes

The Designated Management Body (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. For the purposes of calculating the local reclamation rate, a maximum of 30% of the total weight of residual materials sent to for local reclamation can be reclaimed elsewhere in Québec but deemed local. 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.

Prescribed Rates – Deposit-Refund System

Types of containers 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 70% 75% 80% 68% 73% 78% 80% in 2026 50% in 2026
Glass 65% 75% 80% 63% 73% 78% 90% in 2026 50% in 2026
Multilayer (fibres) - 65% 70% - 60% 65% 80% in 2028 50% in 2028
Bio-sourced 70% 75% 80% 68% 73% 78% 80% in 2028 50% in 2026
Reusable glass containers 85% 90% 90% 90% 90% 90% 90% in 2026 50% in 2026
Reusable containers made of other materials 70% 75% 80% 80% 85% 90% 80% in 2026 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.
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.

Popularized presentations and information sessions

A Webcast and PowerPoint presentations popularizing the Regulation:

  • November 2022 Webcast YouTube (French)Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre.
  • November 2022 presentation (French, YouTube PDF, 882 KB)Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre.: The deposit-refund modernization: overview of obligations and next steps.
  • July 2022 presentation (French, YouTube PDF, 884 KB)Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre.: Popularized presentation on the provisions of the Regulation respecting the development, implementation and financial support of a deposit-refund system for certain containers.

Other targeted information sessions may be offered based on need.


Statute and Regulation

Topical fact sheets about the Regulation

Documents produced under the mandates of the working groups

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