Beverage Containers

For a report of the programs activities and results in B.C. and stewardship plans, please read:

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 & import)
  • refillable glass beer and cider bottles (standard & 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 – back on the shelf again 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 – Turned into new bottles and buckets using about a third less energy than manufacturing new plastic.

Glass – 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.

Public Consultation

Three sets of amendments to the Recycling Regulation are proposed:

  1. Consolidating the tracking and reporting categories for beverage containers,
  2. Enabling alternatives to cash only refunds for beverage containers, and
  3. “Housekeeping” amendments.

The ministry invites you to review the intentions paper describing the proposed content of the regulatory amendments and provide comments using the response form. The comment period is now closed, as of January 29, 2016.