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Quebec to hike bottle deposits in hope to increase recycling

Quebec’s Minister for the Environment, Pierre Arcand, has stated that Quebec is doubling the deposit on beer cans, soft drinks, energy drinks and PET plastic containers and glass soft drink containers to $.10 effective January 2013.

The new $.10 fee will apply to soft drink containers, small beer cans and bottles. The exception are containers larger than 450 mls which are subject to a $.20 deposit.

The increase will allow the government to free up more money to support retailers which collect the returned containers, the government agency Recyc-Québec said.

Currently, retailers get a $.02 handling fee, paid from unredeemed deposits. Environmental organizations support the move, calling it long overdue.

According to Boissons Gazeuses Environnement, a non-profit organization created by the Quebec soft drink industry, in 2010 the province recovered 708 million aluminum containers, 215 million plastic bottles and 5 million glass bottles for a total of approximately 22,290 metric tons.

Boissons Gazeuses also observed that 400 million deposit containers are still being thrown away in garbage in Quebec each year, and Quebecers forego $20 million in unredeemed deposits annually.