The Quebec government is expanding its recycling deposit system to include glass, plastic and metal bottles.
The province announced on Thursday morning that refunds will be available for all containers ranging from 100 millimetres to two litres.
As part of the plan, wine and alcohol bottles will be eligible for a $0.25 deposit while other containers will result in a $0.10 refund.
Quebec Premier François Legault called the move a winning situation for both citizens and the planet.
“We’re proud to say Quebec is the province with the lowest greenhouse gases per capita, so why don’t we have this deposit system for plastic, for all glass, for metal?” he said. “I think it’s unacceptable.”
The changes will prompt better recycling and simplify the process for both the public and companies, according to the government. It says more than four billion containers will be recuperated on an annual basis.
The province’s public recycling deposit program hasn’t changed since 1984.
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“2020 will be, for us, the year of the environment, and it’s only the beginning,” said Legault.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante welcomed the province’s decision.
“I’m very happy this morning, like a lot of people, that it is now a reality that the government of Quebec decided that yes, the deposits for bottles will be happening,” she said.
Équiterre, an environmental group, applauded the move and said the “much-awaited modernization” is needed to tackle growing waste-management problems. However, the organization said in a statement that more needs to be done.
“The expansion of the deposit refund system is a huge step in the right direction, but we must go further,” said executive director Colleen Thorpe. “Now we need to ensure that the new system prioritizes reuse by encouraging manufacturers to opt for multiple-use containers.”
The new system is expected to be gradually rolled out starting in fall 2022.
— With files from Global News’ Tim Sargeant, Raquel Fletcher and the Canadian Press