June 2019

deposit-refund, is it safe?

This spring, Consignaction is launching a media campaign to raise public awareness of the effectiveness of deposit-refund. The campaign aims to reassure Quebecers about this recovery method, which enables 100% recycling of returnable bottles and cans.

"When I return my returnable bottle and can to the merchant, I can be sure that it will be 100% recycled," says the ad, which runs on several platforms, including TV, radio and social media. Consignaction's message concludes with the tagline: "La deposit-refund, c'est sûr."

Waste not, want not

"We can have complete confidence in the deposit-refund system, which recycles all recovered containers. This system has been tried and tested for 35 years. Bringing back your refundable/returnable containers to dépanneur or to the supermarket is an activity that avoids wasting resources, and meets the principles ofcircular economy," explains Normand Bisson, President of Consignaction.

Facts and figures

In Quebec, Consignaction manages to recover 76% of refundable/returnable containers in circulation, year after year. However, every day, over 1.3 million returnable bottles and cans, whether made of glass, plastic or aluminum, are thrown away and eventually end up in landfill.

  • Returnable cans and bottles returned to the merchant are 100% recycled.
  • aluminum can can be recycled ad infinitum without losing any of its properties.
  • deposit-refund provides financial support for social organizations and individuals in need, and has created thousands of jobs across Quebec.
  • The energy saved by recycling a single plastic bottle can power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • A plastic bottle can take up to 400 years to decompose in the environment.
  • A aluminum can takes 200 to 500 years to decompose in the environment.

About Consignaction

Consignaction was set up by Boissons Gazeuses Environnement (BGE). The organization promotes various programs and initiatives to encourage consumers and businesses to recover returnable bottles and cans, and to facilitate access to various infrastructures for the recovery of these containers.

About the deposit-refund

The deposit-refund system in Quebec has been in existence since 1984. It is a recovery system based on the temporary collection of a deposit when a container is sold. This deposit is refundable to encourage consumers to return their containers for recovery and recycling. In this way, a deposit-refund system represents no cost to the person returning the container. It is only the person who chooses to dispose of the container who incurs a financial cost. In Quebec, non-refillable aluminum, plastic and glass beer and soft-drink containers are all returnable. deposit-refund ensures that containers returned to retailers are 100% recycled.