New Brunswick’s Beverage Containers Program

The New Brunswick Beverage Containers Program was established in 1992 to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills, or ending up as litter along our roadsides and waterways.

Through this program, distributors (companies that sell ready-to-drink beverages to stores in New Brunswick) are required to package their beverages in containers that can be returned either for refilling or recycling. Refillable glass bottles are washed, sterilized, and refilled. Plastic, non-refillable glass, metal, carton, and other types of beverage containers are recycled.

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.

Beverage Container Deposits & Refunds

New Brunswick redemption centres accept and issue refunds for the empty containers of ready-to-drink beverage products you have purchased in the province that are deposit-bearing. Deposit-bearing means that you paid a deposit fee upon purchase on top of the price of the item.

You get a full refund on the deposit fee for refillable glass beer bottles that you return to your local redemption centre. Refillable glass beer bottles are sent back to local breweries, cleaned, sterilized, and refilled.

You get a 50% refund on the deposit fee for all recyclable beverage containers (plastic bottles, non-refillable glass bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, plastic pouches, carton containers, etc.).

The Lifecycle of Beverage Containers

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All beverage containers you return to your local redemption centre are recycled. Follow their journey through the recycling process as they are transformed into new containers or other useful products.


Beverage containers are crafted by manufacturers using either new or recycled materials from the recycling process. The containers are then filled with your favourite beverages, sealed with caps, labelled, and packed for shipping. The beverage containers are now ready to be sent out and sold.

Shipping to distributors or retailers

Distributors or retailers buy beverages, often in large quantities, from various beverage producers and put them on the shelves of their stores for people to buy.

Sale and consumption

You buy beverages and are charged a deposit fee for each beverage container at purchase. The deposits you pay for beverage containers encourage you to return empty containers to your local redemption centre after drinking your beverages.

Returning empty containers for recycling

Once you have finished drinking a beverage, you have the option to return the beverage container to be recycled. Make sure the container is empty of all liquids and other waste items, and place it in your recycling bag or bin at home with all your other empty beverage containers until your next visit to your local redemption centre.

Processing beverage containers

Your local redemption centre accepts your empty beverage containers for recycling and provides you with deposit refunds. The beverage containers are sent to processing facilities, where they are crushed and processed into bales. These bales are then shipped to various recycling and commodity markets.

Turning materials into new containers or products

The materials that were once part of your beverage containers are repurposed to create new beverage containers or other useful products.

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