Beginning November 1, 2023, all aluminum beverage containers between 100 ml and 2 L in size will be refundable. They will join the beer, soft drink and other beverage containers that are already part of the deposit system.

What about glass?

Under the government’s schedule, it won’t be until the second phase, in March 2025, that the deposit system will be expanded to include all glass, plastic and multilayer-type beverage containers between 100 ml and 2 L in size.

What’s changing?

The changes implemented on November 1, 2023, are part of the first phase of the modernization of the deposit system:

All aluminum beverage containers will be refundable

All beverages sold in 100 ml to 2 L aluminum containers will be refundable and returnable. Among other things, this means that the coolers sold at the SAQ will now be part of the deposit system.

The deposit will now be 10 cents

For nearly all refundable containers, the deposit amount will go from 5 to 10 cents. The only exception will be currently refundable large (500 ml to 2 L) glass bottles, whose deposit will increase to 25 cents. Note that this phase does not include wine and spirits bottles, which will join the deposit system in phase 2 in 2025.

For consistency’s sake, the 20¢ deposit formerly charged on some beverage containers like large beer cans will be adjusted to 10 cents. To obtain the full refund, people with these containers should return them to a retailer by November 1, 2023. Please note that a 15-day grace period has been granted, after which the refund for all containers will be 10 cents.

Where to return your containers?

As of November 1, 2023, the return sites will mainly be at grocery stores, many of which are located near SAQ stores.

You can view a map of return sites on the Consignaction website. A poster in every SAQ store will also identify the nearest return site.

The return site locations are determined by the Quebec Beverage Container Recycling Association (QBCRA), which is the organization mandated by the government to implement the expanded deposit system.

In the reverse vending machines at grocery storesIn the reverse vending machines at grocery stores

In the reverse vending machines
at grocery stores

At the service counter of any store selling refundable containersAt the service counter of any store selling refundable containers

At the service counter of any store
selling refundable containers

In collection boxes and bins found at work or public locationsIn collection boxes and bins found at work or public locations

In collection boxes and bins found at
work or public locations

What is the SAQ’s role in the first phase?

We’re guiding our employees, partners and customers to help make this transition a success. At the same time, we’re continuing to work closely with the QBCRA and industry partners to prepare for phase 2, which will add wine and spirits bottles to the system.

The deposit system is a corporate priority for the SAQ. We want to do all we can to ensure its success and obtain the highest possible glass recycling rate.

FAQ Consigne

  • Where can I find out which retailers accept containers?
    • You check the Consignaction map here or look at the posters in any SAQ store to know the nearest retailer that accepts refundable containers.
  • Why isn’t the SAQ taking back refundable containers in its stores?
    • To make returning deposit containers easier for you and make the deposit system as efficient as possible, the SAQ has affiliated with retailers that already have the automatic equipment necessary to recover aluminum containers. These affiliations are perfectly aligned with the QBCRA’s vision, which is to encourage such partnerships between retailers so as to have an optimal number of return points and make optimum use of existing infrastructure.
    • Under the government’s schedule, glass beverage containers will be included beginning in March 2025, as part of phase 2 of the modernization of the deposit system.
    • The number of wine bottles, milk cartons and water bottles is huge. Specifically, in phase 2, when these containers are added to the deposit system, the number of returnable containers in Quebec will double, going from 2.4 billion to nearly 5 billion. The QBCRA and its industry partners need time to put in place the infrastructure and machines necessary to handle the increased volume. Also, existing reverse vending machines have to be adapted to accept the new containers’ sizes and weights and processing plants need to prepare for this new wave of material.
    • The expansion of the deposit system is managed by the QBCRA. As the host of pilot projects, the SAQ has been involved since the beginning and it will continue to be, the better to ensure the transition is successful.
  • Where should I go to get back the deposit I paid on imported beers I bought at the SAQ?
    • Take them to any of the Quebec return sites shown on the Consignaction website. The return site closest to your SAQ store will also be posted in the store.