Ministry of Environment

Product Stewardship

Beverage Container Product Category

Deposit-Refund Obligations

Schedule 1 of the Recycling Regulation lists specific regulatory requirements for the Beverage Container Product Category. The Schedule requires a seller of beverages to collect a deposit from the purchaser, specifies the minimum amount of the deposit and requires sellers and/or authorized return redemption facilities to accept containers and pay a refund per container not less than the amount of the deposit collected.

The stewardship agencies can assist retailers to coordinate empty beverage container collection for recycling and provide information on minimum deposit-refund levels and fees or charges that may be applied to different beverage container types.  

Retailers, as sellers of beverages, are to collect beverage container deposits at the point of sale and pay refunds for redeemed containers in an amount equal to the deposit collected.   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.  Additionally, there is no obligation to accept for refund any container that is: contaminated, rusty, dirty, purchased outside of British Columbia, or which cannot be reasonably identified as a deposit bearing beverage container.

The deposit-refund system is not operated by government and there are no statutory fees or charges remitted to government under the system.  If a producer charges fees that are shown on the consumer's receipt, the Recycling Regulation requires producers to submit an independently audited financial statements showing revenues and expenditures as part of an annual report submitted to the Ministry of Environment.