The implementation of the reform of the deposit on beverage containers will be done in phases, the Legault government is now considering, a prospect that reassures retailers, who claimed that a wholesale entry into force would be a failure.

“It is an intention on which we are currently working”, confirmed to La Presse the Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, Benoit Charette.

Quebec is keeping its sights set on November 1 to begin implementing its reform, but is now proposing to start with aluminum containers and wait “in the months that follow” to add other materials, such as plastic, glass and multi-layered containers, which are used, for example, to bottle milk.

“The devices [to collect the aluminum containers] are already in place, are already able to receive these containers. This is the simplest step,” explained Minister Charette.

The directive on other types of containers would follow in one or two additional phases, specifies the minister, who will decide the question “in the coming weeks”; the required regulatory amendments will then have to be adopted by the Council of Ministers.

“There have been various pilot projects over the last year and a half. There are lessons to be learned from these pilot projects, “justified the minister, saying he wanted to prevent too rapid an expansion of the deposit resulting in failures.

“We especially want to avoid a frustrating experience for consumers who would have difficulty getting a refund for the deposit paid,” he says, referring in particular to the major logistical issues, for the development of spaces reserved for the recovery of containers. and the establishment of transport routes.

The extension of the deposit to all beverage containers from 100 milliliters to 2 liters will double the number of returnable containers, which will increase from 2.5 billion to 5 billion per year in Quebec.

Its entry into force was initially scheduled for the fall of 2022, but had been postponed.

The Association of Quebec Food Retailers (ADAQ), which called for a further postponement to January 1, 2025 to avoid “the network crashing” from day one, welcomes the Minister’s proposal.

“We’re happy,” vice-president Stéphane Lacasse told La Presse. It gives us more time. »

Minister Benoit Charette warns, however, that the gradual expansion will happen more quickly than the ADAQ wanted: “It will not be 2025”.