Container Recycling Fee (CRF)

As of April 1, 2024, under New Brunswick Regulation 2008-54 (Designated Materials) of the Clean Environment Act, the Beverage Containers Program operates under a not-for-profit, producer-operated model. To assist in meeting environmental performance objectives, a container recycling fee (CRF), which goes towards recovering the cost of managing and recycling deposit-bearing beverage containers, may be imposed on beverage product producers (“brand owners”). The CRF may or may not impact the retail price of certain beverage products.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a CRF and a deposit?

A CRF (container recycling fee) is an environmental handling/management fee charged by Encorp Atlantic to beverage product brand owners to cover the net costs of recovering and recycling the containers for their products. These are generally a few cents per container, and the exact amount set for each container depends on a variety of factors, including how cost-effective a container’s material type is to recycle.

A deposit is a refundable 10-cent (or 20-cent) “fee” that you pay when you purchase a ready-to-drink beverage product in a sealed container on top of the price of the item – intended to entice you to return the empty beverage container to your local redemption centre so that it can be recovered to be recycled or refilled – instead of ending up in a landfill or as litter. Previously, you were used to paying a 10-cent deposit on certain beverage products and a 20-cent deposit on others – and being refunded half these deposits when returning the empty containers for recycling. Now, you will be fully reimbursed for these deposits when you return the empty beverage containers to your local redemption centre.

How are CRFs set?

CRFs are set for each container type according to an annual calculation of the net recycling costs. For example, it costs less to collect, handle, transport, and process plastic PET bottles than glass bottles. Based on pricing set in the marketplace, Encorp Atlantic may generate more revenue from the sale of PET compared to glass. Therefore, the net cost of recycling a glass bottle will be higher, so the CRF for that container will be higher compared to a PET bottle.

These calculations may change yearly, depending on volumes, costs and revenues associated with different container types. That is why CRFs set by Encorp may go up or down depending on the net cost calculated each year.

Aren’t the CRFs just another form of taxation?

No, Encorp Atlantic is a not-for-profit producer responsibility organization operated by the beverage industry in New Brunswick. None of the CRFs or the deposits go to any level of Government. The CRFs are charged by Encorp directly to beverage producers to cover the net costs of recycling their containers.

CRFs are common in many other provinces and reflect the growing movement towards eco-packaging and producers taking full responsibility for the lifecycle of their products. There are costs involved in recycling beverage containers, and charging CRFs to these beverage product brand owners is necessary to ensure our recycling system in New Brunswick remains financially sustainable.

How are CRFs used? Where does the money go?

The money collected from CRFs, plus the money from the sale of commodities and any money left over from unclaimed (unredeemed) deposits, are used to pay for the collection, handling, transportation, and processing of beverage containers, as well as Program administration (including recycling promotion and education). Some of these tasks are performed by independent private service providers who work under contract with Encorp Atlantic. There are dozens of companies and hundreds of people employed in New Brunswick as a result of the Beverage Containers Program.

Are CRFs advertised in stores? Do they show on my receipt?

The only “fee” you pay on top of the price of a beverage product (which may or may not now have a CRF calculated/integrated as part of the item’s sales price) is the fully refundable deposit. The deposit should be clearly listed on your receipt. You can feel good about purchasing deposit-bearing beverage products — especially if you ensure their empty containers are recycled. You will get your full deposit back as a refund when you return these containers to your local redemption centre!

CRFs are internal environmental fees charged by Encorp Atlantic to beverage product brand owners – to cover the net costs of recycling their containers. Some brand owners may choose to absorb these costs, while others may choose to pass them on to retailers, who, in turn, may absorb them or pass them on to consumers, the same as they do for many factors contributing to price fluctuations for grocery items and goods. When passed on to consumers, CRFs are integrated into the total price of the beverage product.  However, as shown in the table above, even if the CRF is integrated into the sales price of certain deposit-bearing beverage products you buy at retail, you are now paying less fees for most types of beverage containers when you choose to return/redeem your empty containers for recycling and get a full deposit refund.

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


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