Changes coming to Quebec’s recycling deposit program

Published February 6, 2020

The Quebec government is expanding its recycling deposit system to include all glass, plastic and metal bottles between 100ml and 2L in order to increase recovery of ready-to-drink beverage containers.

Recovery targets have been set by the government at 75 per cent by 2025 and 90 per cent by 2030.

Currently the province’s recycling deposit program applies only to certain types of beverages, such as beer or soft drinks, instead of certain types of beverage containers.

Wine and spirit bottles, as well as water bottles and cans that are not part of the current deposit program – such as sparkling water, vegetable juices and green teas – will be included in the new program.

What will this mean for foodservice?

Businesses that market beverage containers will have the financial and operational responsibility to uphold the new system and will be held accountable through programs with RECYC-QUÉBEC.

Businesses have until January 2021 to file a program plan. Ideally the government would like to see both collection depots as well as retailers with a staggered implementation beginning in the fall of 2022.

Restaurants Canada is at the table

Restaurants Canada is working closely with a coalition of key stakeholders to prepare for this transition, along with representatives from retail, groceries and other industries. We are working towards a solution that will be primarily managed and funded by the producers of ready-to-drink beverages, and we are also working toward a glass bottle recuperation system that will have minimal impact on licensed foodservice business operators.

We are also in regular contact with Quebec government stakeholders to ensure our industry will be prepared for the transition and to address unintended consequences. For instance, the new system will result in the removal of glass and certain valuable types of plastic from household recycling programs, which may have a negative impact on revenues generated from these programs. This could lead to an increase in stewardship fees to Éco Entreprises Québec. We are in discussions with government to request their support in offsetting these costs.

If you have any questions or would like more information, you can get in touch with David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Federal and Quebec, at DLefebvre@restaurantscanada.org.

Marlee Wasser

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