Frequently Asked Questions
Founded in 2010, the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA) is a not-for-profit, industry-funded organization whose membership includes beverage brand owners and distributors. CBCRA is committed to reaching the government-mandated target of recovering 75% of beverage containers sold in Manitoba.
CBCRA implemented and operates the Recycle Everywhere program. Recycle Everywhere strives to educate Manitobans on beverage container recycling, and ensure that it is convenient to recycle empty beverage containers no matter where you live, work or play.
Recycle Everywhere promotes beverage container recycling wherever beverages are consumed, both at home and away from home. This includes Canada’s first province-wide away from home beverage container recycling program. Recycle Everywhere has partnered with communities, municipalities, schools, businesses, institutions, parks, festivals and events throughout Manitoba to provide them with the best Recycle Everywhere bin for the space free of charge. Partners simply arrange for the collection of the recovered beverage containers with a recycler. Together with our partners, we are enabling new products to be made, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing litter in streets and parks.
Empty cans, cartons, juice boxes, glass and plastic bottles.
CBCRA and its program, Recycle Everywhere, is not a government program. When the Government of Manitoba enacted the Packaging and Printed Paper Regulation in December 2008, it also established a recovery target for beverage containers. This target requires obligated beverage producers to recover 75% of all beverage containers sold in Manitoba. Beverage companies embraced this target and formed CBCRA to achieve it in a timely way.
In 2008, the Manitoba Government recommitted its support for the concept of a comprehensive recycling system that includes a broad range of materials – and added a 75% recovery rate target for beverage containers. This ensured that the comprehensive recycling system would be convenient for everyone, as it includes both at-home and away-from-home recycling for beverage containers. As well, this model is efficient and cost-effective for municipalities, consumers and the operators of the Blue Box system.
The away-from-home beverage container recycling program, combined with the Blue Box, has created a recycling system that is a cost effective and convenient way for Manitobans to recycle all types of materials including beverage containers.
The CBCRA system combines the convenience of a multi-material system with the performance of a deposit system at a much lower overall cost to consumers. This system is making Manitoba a leader in recycling across the country.
The CRF is a Container Recycling Fee. Beverage producers are changed the CRF for every non-alcoholic, non-dairy beverage container they supply into Manitoba. This fee is used to pay for the cost of collecting and processing (sorting, baling and marketing) beverage containers wherever they are generated including all of the various away-from-home and at-home locations. The fee funds infrastructure, signage, technical support, Promotion and Education and program management. In addition, the funds pay for up to 80% of the cost to collect and manage empty beverage containers in residential recycling programs.
The fee is currently 2 cents for all container types and ensures that the public is aware of the direct link between what they are paying and the cost of recycling their empty beverage containers. We are aware that most, if not all, of the participating beverage producers are passing this fee on to retailers who are in turn passing it on to consumers.
Over a five year period the recovery rate has gone from 42% to 65%, an increase of 23 percentage points, which means 55% more containers were recycled in 2015 than in 2010. In 2015, approximately 5,200 metric tonnes, or 280 million beverage containers in Manitoba were recycled. This equals a decrease of 24,000 metric tonnes of CO2eq emissions, which is the equivalent of taking 5,400 cars off the road.
Beverage containers are the only product group in Manitoba that has a recovery rate target set by the provincial government. Consequently, the beverage industry established CBCRA to achieve this goal. Recycling other products and materials is important, but CBCRA is dedicated to the recovery and recycling of beverage containers. This singular focus is part of its strength. A side benefit of this singular focus is that the Promotion and Education efforts regarding beverage containers has a spill-over effect on other materials in the Blue Box, lifting their recycling rate.
CBCRA is responsible for the recovery of sealed beverage containers as mandated by the Government of Manitoba, not open cups such as coffee cups. (Please see ‘Why do you focus on beverage containers’ answer above).
Coffee cups are not currently accepted in Manitoba’s recycling system due to the material composition of the cups, and the end-market for the materials that these cups are made from. Each brand of coffee cup can be made up of very different materials for the lining and outer casing (e.g. a Tim Horton’s cup vs Starbucks). This makes it difficult for processors to come up with a universal solution to separate these materials from each other, and have a viable material that can be sold on the commodities market for manufacturing other products. This is an issue that is not being ignored, nor is it going away. Companies that sell these cups are constantly looking for solutions to the issue across the globe.
Each material type is used differently:
- Glass in Manitoba is usually crushed and used locally for building roads. It is also sometimes used as fill in water and sewer trenches.
- Plastics are made into new products such as new beverage containers, drainage pipes, oil bottles, benches, pens, picnic tables, fencing, clothing (e.g., t-shirts, fleece jackets) and carpeting, to name just a few of the items.
- Aluminum cans are used to make new cans, or are incorporated into products such as engine blocks, building facades or bicycles.
- Cartons and juice boxes are turned into cardboard boxes and tissue paper.
Recycling systems vary from community to community depending on how each has decided to operate or contract out its recycling program. Collection can occur either at the curbside in municipalities that support that type of service or at a local depot where residents can drop off their recyclables. Once they are collected, recyclables are sent to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where they are sorted and baled and sold to various companies for further processing into new products.
Recycle Everywhere bins are available free of charge for a wide range of partners to use in their public spaces. To find out how to request bins
A number of factors determine whether a community will recycle certain materials. These include the distance material has to travel to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF), the amount and type of recyclable materials available for collection, local economic factors and the strength of the recycled material markets.
Multi Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) is responsible for municipal printed paper and packaging recycling. To learn more, visit: http://www.stewardshipmanitoba.org/. CBCRA funds MMSM for up to 80% of the cost of collecting and processing empty beverage containers from the residential sector.