Quebec promises to do more to reduce waste in the province and some upcoming changes will have a direct impact on people and their wallets.

Following a report by Quebec’s environmental watchdog that called waste management efforts disappointing, the environment minister has put forward an ambitious plan – too ambitious, some say.

“This is a big change that we are confirming today,” Quebec Minister for the Environment Benoit Charette said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

Quebec plans to implement a deposit system for each beverage container between 100 milliliters and 2 gallons. Consumers will pay between 10 and 25 cents extra for each drink, but the government will refund the money as soon as the containers are returned to the store or another drop-off point.

“When we talk about this kind of reform in environments, we were quite late. We had to catch up with the rest of the country and we also had to catch up with other countries, ”said Charette.

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This is part of Quebec’s response to a report released on Tuesday by the province’s environmental watchdog, the BAPE.

READ MORE: Quebec’s recycling deposit program to include refunds for glass, plastic, metal bottles

After nearly a year of investigation, the report concluded that Quebec’s efforts to reduce waste in the province had not nearly met its targets, saying action was needed to prevent landfills from overflowing.

The idea is to put the onus on the liquor companies to pick up and recycle their own goods.

“We need to create an environment where it is easy to waste less and that environment is by emphasizing fees for producers, the companies that actually produce the waste,” says Colleen Thorpe, director of the environmental advocacy group Equiterre.

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Some people Global News spoke to said they would have no problem bringing milk cartons and other items back to the store.

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“Yes, I think it’s worth the inconvenience it requires, you have to bring your own suitcases anyway, so it’s easy to throw in a few things if you’re on your way to the store anyway, said Madeleine Jackson while shopping at the Intermarché grocery store at Mont Royal and Boyer in the plateau.

However, the owner of the store is furious.

“We have no place for that, and we do not have employees to do it,” said Franck Henot.

He said he only installed self-checkouts because he could not get enough employees for the store. He showed Global News a small room in the store’s basement that is used to store beer bottles that people return to get their deposits back.

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He fears he will have to store mountains of milk cartons and other containers in his store before they are picked up, and he is worried about the smell it will bring, especially in the summer.

“It’s incredible,” he said of the plan, wondering why the government is giving shops that have struggled throughout the pandemic extra responsibility.

Quebec hopes to see the new system in place within 10 months, but liquor companies are asking for more time. They mention labor shortages, supply chain issues and complex equipment that will have to be purchased from outside the country.

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“It’s not that we do not want to do it. We just want to do it right, ”said Martin-Pierre Pelletier of the Canadian Beverage Association, which represents Coke, Pepsi, Nestle and other major beverage manufacturers.

The Canadian Retail Council, which represents most major grocery chains, is also asking for more time to implement the system.

Given the complexity of the regulation and especially the supply chain issues due to the pandemic, it will certainly have an impact on the production and installation of the required machinery to manage it all, ”said Francis Mailly, Director of Government Relations at the Canadian said. Retail Council se Quebec branch.

However, the government and environmentalists are adamant and say solving a major problem requires a great deal of effort.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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