Under the Beverage Containers Act, beverage container distributors (companies that sell ready-to-drink beverages to stores in New Brunswick) must package their beverages in containers which can be returned either for refilling or recycling. Refillable glass bottles are washed, sterilized and refilled again. Plastic, carton, non-refillable glass and metal containers are recycled, which means they are broken down and used to make other products.
When you buy a beverage at the store, you pay a deposit fee on top of the price of the item. You get a portion of this deposit back as a refund if you return the empty beverage container to a local redemption centre.
The unrefunded portion of each deposit is used to recover the costs of administering the program for the recycling of containers. A portion is also deposited into New Brunswick’s Environmental Trust Fund, which is used to promote recycling activities and improve the state of the environment in the province. Community groups, municipalities, First Nations, non-profit organizations, and institutions furthering sustainable development can apply to the Environmental Trust Fund.