Recycle beverage containers

Last updated on April 5, 2022

What can I recycle?

  • Plastic bottles, jugs and containers
  • Aluminum cans
  • Polycoat containers
  • Bag-in-a-box and pouches
  • Glass bottles
  • Other metal cans
  • All beer cans (domestic and import)
  • Refillable glass beer and cider bottles (standard and non-standard)

Why should I recycle?

By recycling your used beverage containers, you divert waste from your local landfills and help the environment. You also reduce the need for raw materials to manufacture new products.

Encorp Pacific (Canada) and Brewers Recycling Container Collection Council are the two industry led agencies that manage recycling of beverage containers.

Where can I recycle?

Containers can be returned to designated collection facilities (bottle depots) or retailers. Retailers are entitled to limit the total number of returns to 24 containers per person per day of the same brand and type that the retailer sells.

You can find the collection site nearest you for beverage containers at Return It and for beer and cider containers

What happens to it?

Aluminum Cans – Cans end up back on the shelf as new cans within six weeks! It takes 95% less energy to manufacture a can from recycled aluminum than it does to make it from brand new material.

Plastic Bottles –  These are turned into new bottles and buckets using about a third less energy than manufacturing new plastic.

Glass – This is used in the manufacturing of a variety of things such as fibreglass insulation and sandblasting material.

Other Metal Cans – Non-aluminum cans (usually steel) can be made into hundreds of products such as rebar and car parts.

Drink Boxes and Cartons – Polycoat containers are hydra-pulped and turned into tissue paper and cardboard boxes.

Refillable Glass Bottles – The industry standard refillable beer bottle is reused an average of 15 times and is used by a collective of brewers across the province and country.  At the end of the bottle’s life cycle, it is crushed and recycled into new glass bottles.

Find a drop off location

Find a drop off location or contact the Recycling Council of B.C. (RCBC)

EPR Programs

Program Websites

Annual reports and stewardship plans as provided to the Province are posted for convenience.