Since November 1st 2023, the Quebec government has been taking steps towards bettering the province’s deposit-return system to ensure that most plastic and glass bottles, as well as cans, are deposited by consumers. The price per container increased to ¢10 to create a better incentive, and more and more deposit centers are being created across the province.
I have never brought back my bottles and containers before, but seeing that I was paying ¢10 per little can of soda I bought (I go through them quite fast!) I decided to give it a go. Two weeks ago, I decided to keep all of my cans and plastic bottles in a separate bag, away from my recycling bag. Once that bag was full, I checked the consignaction deposit map and tried going to the stores that supposedly accepted containers. I had to go through three different stores before finally finding one who did in fact agree to take back my bag full of cans and bottles! I got $1.60 back for that week, and it didn’t take much time or energy.
I already recycle, so putting my cans in a recycling bag or another bag changes little for me. I then take my bag with me on my way to work or when I just want to go on a walk. I would go outside anyway, so I might as well get my ¢10 per bottle back while doing it!
If used correctly, a deposit-return system can ensure that containers are 100% recycled. It ensures that the materials are reused instead of discarded. It also creates community engagement by raising awareness for recycling and creating an incentive to recycle. Not all provinces or cities have a deposit-refund system, but this can change. Check out your local recycling policies, and if your municipality could improve, let your mayor know!