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10-cent recycling deposit added for milk and plant-based beverage containers

Deposits can be redeemed by returning containers to Return-It collection centres
Recycle BC is bringing in a deposit system for milk and milk-alternative containers. (Recycle BC art)

As of Feb. 1, a 10-cent deposit will be applied to all ready-to-drink milk and plant-based beverage cartons, plastic jugs, metal containers and glass containers.

The deposit can be redeemed by returning the containers to any Return-It collection centre in the province. Deposits can only be redeemed on containers with a best before date after Feb. 1, as no deposit was paid for containers prior to that date.

“B.C. continues to lead the way in protecting the environment and extended producer responsibility performance in Canada,” said Allen Langdon, president and CEO of Return-It. “Now British Columbians have even more incentive to recycle their empty milk and plant-based beverage containers and keep plastics and other beverage containers out of our landfills, oceans and waterways.”

Only clean containers can be accepted, so be sure to rinse them out before taking them in. Old milk leftover in the containers could contaminate the material and prevent it from being recycled.

The following product containers will not have a deposit added and remain in the Recycle BC program:

  • Whipping cream
  • Coffee cream or other coffee additives
  • Buttermilk
  • Drinkable yogurt
  • Infant formula
  • Dietary or meal supplement
  • Any dairy concentrates
  • Condensed or evaporated milk
  • Modified milk-derived products (e.g. kefir)
  • Yogurt, pudding, cheese, ice cream etc.

Consumers can continue to put milk and plant-based beverage containers in blue recycling bins and the items will not be considered contamination. RecycleBC says the containers will still be recycled, but people will not be able to claim their 10-cent deposit unless the containers are taken to a Return-It collection site.

A nine cent container recycling fee was also added to the containers to offset the cost of recycling the material. The container recycling fee is non-refundable.

READ MORE: Return-It depots change beverage container deposits from 20 to 10 cents

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