Companies team up to collect Quebecers' empties, raise funds for food banks

Return-It hopes the deposit increase will help increase the number of beverage containers returned and recycled. (
by Katelyn Thomas, CTV


MONTREAL -- Starting on Friday, Quebecers will be able to donate to a good cause by dropping off recyclable bottles and cans that have piled up in their homes over the past few weeks. 

Drop-off stations across the province were closed until this week amid the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning a few hundred million bottles and cans have yet to be recycled.

Through a joint initiative between Consignaction and the St-Hubert Foundation, money collected from container drop-offs in designated locations will be donated to food banks to help citizens who are experiencing food insecurity amid the pandemic. 

“The financial situation of many Quebecers changed from one day to the next due to job loss related to COVID-19,” said Normand Bisson, the president of Boissons Gazeuses Environnement which oversees the Consignaction program. “More than ever, food banks are being used and we plan to support them through our environmental mission.” 

The initiative will begin in several cities in the Montérégie region and will gradually roll out through other Quebec regions over the summer. People will be able to drop off their containers at participating St-Hubert restaurants, where designated drop-off spots will be set up in the parking lot. Schedules are available here

Specifically, Cosignaction will be collecting soda bottles and cans as well as beer bottles. Representatives who will be wearing personal protective equipment will collect the items while respecting physical distancing guidelines, and drivers won’t need to leave their cars. 

“This initiative permits the St-Hubert Foundation to aid people in vulnerable positions during this particularly difficult time,” said Richard Scofield, the president of Groupe St-Hubert. “Now more than ever, acts of solidarity are important and essential.”


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