QUÉBEC CITY, May 28, 2018 – The Government of Québec is announcing that it will grant a maximum subsidy of $15 million to the Fonds d’action québécois pour le développement durable (FAQDD) so that it can implement a financial assistance program to help retailers modernize their reverse vending machines by 2021.
This was announced today by Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, alongside Stéphane Billette, Member for Huntington and Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development, Sonia Gagné, Chief Executive Officer of RECYC-QUÉBEC, and André Forget, Chair of the Board of the Association des détaillants en alimentation du Québec.
Retailers will be able to receive financial assistance of up to $7,500 per machine for the acquisition of new equipment. This measure, which also aims to improve the public’s can and bottle return experience, is part of a larger modernization process for can and bottle return systems in Québec.
In addition, the program is designed to ensure that retailers only acquire equipment that meets the industry’s highest standards, making it easier to manage. The machines that will be acquired under the program must be connected to the internet, which will facilitate updates, problem solving, payments and stock keeping. The program will also require compaction ratios 30% higher than those of old machines, and the machines will be able to offer e-payment and charitable donations.
Retailers are key players in the success of our public can and bottle deposit system. Through the financial assistance program that we are establishing today, we hope to really help them in their daily management of returned containers while improving the public’s return experience. Together, we will continue to improve our performance when it comes to recycling these cans and bottles for our own good and the good of our planet.
– Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change
For years, food retailers have played an important role in Québec’s economy, in many ways. Because they are in contact with the public, in every region, they contribute to the success of our provincial deposit system. Today, it is only right for us to help them purchase reverse vending machines, which will further support retailers in the modernization of their return systems.
– Stéphane Billette, Member for Huntingdon and Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development
We are very pleased to work with the FAQDD and Boissons Gazeuses Environnement and to be able to join forces to optimize the relevance and effectiveness of the program, so that we can produce tangible results and positive repercussions for all Quebecers. Retailers play an essential role in the recovery of consigned cans and bottles. Each year, nearly one billion containers are recycled through this vast return network. A survey conducted by SOM last July showed that the replacement of the current terminals with modern, faster terminals and their greater accessibility would help increase the return rate, which is currently about 70%. We are continuing to work together to improve Québec’s environmental performance and citizen action.
– Sonia Gagné, Chief Executive Officer of RECYC-QUÉBEC
The program will make it possible to add or replace nearly 2,000 units over a period of three years, in order to help retailers respond to their different logistical issues. Retailers will be able to submit an application for financial assistance as of June 18.
– Nicolas Girard, Director General of the Fonds d’action québécois pour le développement durable
The purchase of new reverse vending machines will give a good boost to food retailers and will provide better service to consumers who return their containers. Food retailers have been at the heart of the deposit system since 1984, and we are happy that this program recognizes their contribution and helps retailers of all sizes modernize their equipment.
– André Forget, Chairman of the Board of the Association des détaillants en alimentation du Québec
- Beer and soft drink containers have been subject to deposits in Québec since 1984. A large portion of reverse vending machines owned by Québec retailers are now considered obsolete and will have to be replace in the coming years. Furthermore, the program aims to facilitate access to reverse vending machines for retailers who do not have one, by promoting reuse.
- In Québec, 1.9 billion consigned single-use containers are put on the market annually. For several years, the return rate for these cans and bottles has been around 70%. They are recovered in good part through some 2,500 reverse vending machines, automated equipment that the public can use directly at the store.
- Since RECYC-QUÉBEC manages the public deposit system, it will be in charge of approving the program, which will be implemented by the FAQDD, to ensure compliance and to monitor the use of the subsidy.
- As an organization whose mission is to launch, encourage and support actions aimed at speeding up the adoption of sustainable behaviours and practices in Québec, the FAQDD was chosen to manage the new program.
- Read the Québec residual materials management policy:
- Learn more about the beer and soft drink container deposit program: