Recycling returnable containers: a more energy-efficient production method

Used aluminum can be recycled endlessly without ever losing its properties.

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Manufacturing a can from recycled aluminum uses 95% less energy, and up to 40% less water than making a new one from raw materials.

3.8 x

Every ton of plastic bottles recycled reduces oil consumption by 3.8 barrels.

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The energy saved by recycling a single plastic bottle will power a computer for 25 minutes.

You can do a thousand things

with an empty can or bottle.
But first, you have to return them.

In addition to manufacturing new containers, aluminum, plastic and glass are used in hundreds of practical items such as clothing, bicycles, cars, building materials and much more.

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Each year, 21,260 metric tons of deposit-refund containers are recovered in Québec, the equivalent of 52 Boeing 747s.


For example, you need 25 2-liter plastic bottles to make a backpack.


You need 25 2-liter plastic bottles for a pair of running shoes.


You need 90 2-liter plastic bottles to make a 2-person tent.

But we can do even better.

We may be recovering 72% of the returnable containers in circulation, but that means that 28% are still not returned or recycled. They are simply thrown away! This adds up to 1.5 million returnable containers discarded every day in Quebec,

438.550 million a year!

Returnable containers losses are greatest in the workplace.

Placed end to end, the refundable containers thrown away in Quebec in a single year could circle the Earth.

By discarding refundable containers and not claiming the deposit, not only we pollute, but we lose

$32 million in potential revenue annually.

• A plastic bottle can take up to 400 years to break down.
• An aluminum can makes 200 to 500 years to degrade.
• A glass bottle takes more than 1,000 years to break down.