Deposit-Bearing Beverage Containers

Deposits & Refunds

For more than 30 years now, New Brunswick consumers have been used to paying deposits when purchasing sealed, ready-to-drink beverage products and getting back half of these deposits as refunds when returning empty containers for recycling at RCs.

Since April 1, 2024, the New Brunswick Designated Materials Regulation requires that these deposits be fully refunded to consumers at RCs — meaning more money back into their pockets when recycling!

The current deposit/refund structure is as follows: 

  • ALL beverage containers have a 10-cent deposit and refund – EXCEPT large (over 500 ml) glass beverage containers for alcoholic beverages, which have a 20-cent deposit and refund.

Included vs. Excluded Products 

Accepted Beverage Containers

Deposit paid = Refundable 

All these types of beverages are included in the Beverage Containers Program and have a deposit. 

  • Water and flavoured water. 
  • Fruit and vegetable juices.
  • Beverages with dairy, such as milkshakes, milk protein shakes, iced tea and iced coffee drinks, drinkable yogurt, drinkable kefir, eggnog, etc.
  • Most plant-based milk product alternatives.
    (Note the exceptions regarding plant-based milk products listed in the “not included” column to the right.)
  • Sports drinks (such as protein drinks, energy drinks and electrolyte beverages) and nutritional supplement beverages. 
    (Note the exceptions about “meal replacements” and “formulated liquid diets”  listed in the “not included” column to the right.)
  • Soft drinks.
  • Beer, wine, spirits, ciders, coolers, and low-alcohol drinks.
  • Cannabis beverages. 
  • All beverages not explicitly listed as being exempt from the Beverage Containers Program.
    (See “not included” column to the right.)

Non-Accepted Beverage Containers

No deposit paid = Non-refundable 

The following types of beverages are NOT included in the Beverage Containers Program (no deposit) at this time.

  • Milk.
    (The beverage must be labelled as some sort of milk. This includes cow and goat milk labelled as “fat-free/skim milk (0% M.F.), partly skimmed milk (1% or 2% M.F.), or whole/homogenized milk (3.25% M.F.) It also includes flavoured milk, like strawberry or chocolate milk.)
  • Plant-based milk product alternatives that are fortified and a source of protein.
    (The beverage must be labelled as “fortified.” The label must also NOT have any type of warning indicating it is “not a source of protein.” Most often, these are soy beverages.)
  •  Unprocessed apple cider.
    (The beverage’s label must have no mention of being heated, pasteurized or otherwise processed.)
  • Concentrated beverages.
    (These beverages are not considered “ready-to-drink”, because they need to be mixed or diluted before drinking. Examples include cocktail mixes, frozen juices, syrups, condensed milk, coffee cream, cereal cream, flavour enhancers, etc.)
  •  Infant formula.
    (The beverage must be labelled as “infant formula.”)
  • Meal replacements.
    (The beverage must be labelled as “meal replacement.”)
  • Formulated liquid diets.
    (The beverage must be labelled as “formulated liquid diet.”)
  • All beverages in containers larger than 5 L.
  • All beverages purchased outside of New Brunswick.

Educational Tools & Resources – Included vs. Excluded Products

Poster – Beverage Container Program Rules

Supplied by Encorp
The poster explains which beverage containers are deposit-bearing and which beverage containers are not.
Last updated April 2024

Poster – Non-Beverage Containers

Supplied by Encorp
The poster explains that only containers from ready-to-drink beverages can be deposit-bearing and eligible for a refund at a redemption centre.
Last updated April 2024

Searchable Reference Tool
Commonly Confused Products

Supplied by Encorp
Showcases numerous examples of commonly confused products. This list is non-exhaustive. A green check mark means the beverage product has a deposit, while a red “X” means it does not. We update the tool regularly as new products come to our attention.
Last updated June 2024
Hit “CTRL + F” (Windows) or “CMD + F” (Mac) on your computer’s keyboard to open up the search box while using this document.

Alcool NB Liquor (ANBL)
Website – Product Catalogue

For additional information regarding alcohol beverage products in New Brunswick, visit the ANBL website.

Quizzes & Educational Notices – Included vs. Excluded Products

If you require any additional tools or resources beyond what is available on this web page, there are quizzes and educational notices providing helpful insights and clarifications regarding beverage products for which there are often inquiries featured on our Education/Training for Redemption Centre Staff page.

Unacceptable Containers

On top of rejecting containers that are non-deposit-bearing, RCs should be on the lookout for and reject containers which are not acceptable to Encorp due to being broken, contaminated, or unidentifiable. RCs should be on the lookout as well for out-of-province containers, non-beverage containers and containers larger than 5 L, as these are not part of the Beverage Containers Program, yet are frequently returned by customers.

Broken Containers 

  • Container is shattered into tiny pieces – can no longer identify the container.
    (However, Encorp understands that glass bottles often break in the sorting/shipping process. During QC, if the bottleneck is intact, then the container is accepted/counted.)

Contaminated Containers

  • Container is filled with organic or hazardous waste (ex: dirt, garbage, sand, mud, rocks, needles, cigarette butts, dead mice, bodily fluids, etc.).
  • Container is covered in excessive dirt, paint, or other significant residue.
  • Container was modified for other uses (e.g.: drug pipe).
  • Container is altered in a way that makes it unrecyclable.

Unidentifiable Containers 

  • Container has had its label removed (cannot identify any markings or see the Return for Refund message).
  • Container is flattened like a hockey puck (cannot identify any markings or see the Return for Refund message).

Out-of-Province Containers 

  • How to identify them:
    • The label may be missing a Return for Refund message.
    • The label may still have the Return for Refund message; however, not in both of NB’s official languages – English and French.
    • Content volume may be only in imperial measurement (ounces) instead of in metric (ml or L).

Non-Beverage Containers

  • Container was not intended for a beverage – e.g.: chicken/beef broth, pasta sauce, olive oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, etc.

Containers Larger Than 5 L

  • Container’s volume is larger than 5 L (only beverage containers up to a maximum of 5 L are deposit-bearing).

© 2024 Encorp Atlantic        506-389-7320 | 1-877-389-7320 | [email protected]


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