As of Feb. 1, 2022, people in B.C. will be able to return milk and milk-substitute beverage containers for a refund to reduce waste as part of the Province’s CleanBC Plastics Action Plan.

Shifting milk containers to the deposit-refund system will capture the millions of additional plastic and fibre-based containers that were otherwise being thrown out, such as those from restaurants, schools and offices that did not have access to the residential recycling system.

At the time of purchase, a refundable deposit of 10 cents will be paid for each eligible container. Consumers will get their deposit back when they return their containers.

Clean and rinsed milk and milk-substitute (e.g., oat, almond, soy) beverage containers purchased on or after Feb. 1, 2022, will be accepted by the deposit-refund program. These containers should no longer be placed in the residential blue box.

Residents are encouraged to continue recycling containers that are not being added to the deposit-refund system, such as infant formula, meal replacement/dietary supplements, coffee cream, whipping cream, buttermilk or drinkable yogurt, through curbside, multi-family or depot services.

Returning beverage containers for recycling supports the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan to prevent plastic waste, keep more waste out of landfills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a cleaner, better future.

Quick Facts:

  • Other provincial actions to reduce waste include:
    • expanding the number of single-use products (e.g., disposable cutlery, stir sticks, sandwich bags) that can be recycled through industry-funded residential recycling programs, effective January 2023;
    • empowering municipalities to enact their own bans of certain single-use plastics, without the need for provincial approval;
    • new legislation that allows for the regulation of problematic single-use plastics (products and packaging); and
    • the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Five-Year Action Plan that will add more products to the Recycling Regulation and expand EPR in B.C; and
    • supporting the largest shoreline cleanup in B.C.’s history through the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative, with more than 580 tonnes of marine debris removed to date.

Learn More:

For a full list of accepted containers and the provincewide network of depots accepting them, visit: www.return-it.ca/beverage/products/

EPR Five-Year Action Plan: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/waste-management/recycling/recycle/extended_producer_five_year_action_plan.pdf