The Beer Store | Circular Economy Month | Waste Reduction Week in Canada

The Beer Store

Circular Economy Month Founding Partner

The growth and transformation of Waste Reduction Week to Circular Economy Month wouldn’t be possible without the support of our program partners over the past twenty years. For 2022 we are excited to welcome The Beer Store as a Founding Partner of Canada’s very first Circular Economy Month campaign. The Beer Store has been supporting the Waste Reduction Week in Canada program each year since 2017. Through this partnership we have educated Canadians on how the container return program is an excellent example of circular economy in action.

The Beer Store has been championing the circular economy through its take-back and reverse logistics system since 1927 – long before the first Waste Reduction Week in Canada events and even before recycling was established! Through container reuse and recycling, The Beer Store is advancing the circular economy by integrating circular business models: product life extension, circular supplies, and resource recovery.

Circular Commitments and Achievements:

The Beer Store’s circular system collected, reused, and recycled more than 1.8 billion containers in 2021 alone! Additional achievements include:

  • Through the Beer Store’s circular re-use program beer bottles can be reused up to 15 times before they are recycled and turned into new beer bottles.
  • 98% of all refillable beer bottles sold in Ontario were returned – a return rate increase from 95% in 2020.
  • The number of delivery trucks on the road were significantly reduced through co-deliveries to numerous cities in southern Ontario, including London, Windsor, Oshawa, Whitby, Kingston, and more, as well as several locations in northern Ontario
  • In 2021, 1,724 trees were planted in British Columbia through Lexmark’s Sustainability Program; 4,584 trees have been planted since 2019.
  • More than 239,107 metric tonnes of waste were diverted from local landfills last year, with all material getting re-used or recycled.
  • A LEED-certified Bolton Distribution Centre facility allows for optimized management of materials returned for recycling.
  • Through the deposit return program Ontarians saved 2,394,636 giga joules of energy from being used to create new alcohol containers.
  • Through the deposit return and reverse logistics model Ontarians avoided 214,207 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions last year, which is equivalent to taking 46,586 passenger vehicles off Ontario's roads and highways.
  • In June 2022 The Beer Store partnered with Nespresso to pilot coffee pod recycling collection. Aluminum Nespresso coffee pods can now be brought to 15 The Beer Store locations across the Greater Toronto Area. The pods are picked up from The Beer Store and delivered to a local recycling facility in Guelph that separates the aluminum and coffee grinds. Aluminum is recycled into new products and the coffee grounds are used to make a nutrient-rich compost.


The Beer Store and Waste Reduction Week on CTV News

During Waste Reduction Week 2019, Circular Innovation Council (formerly Recycling Council of Ontario) and The Beer Store visited a bottling facility to highlight and demonstrate the benefits of the circular economy as part of a Waste Reduction Week in Canada segment on CTV News.

BC Brewers’ Recycled Container Collection Council (BRCCC)

BRCCC is the stewardship agency appointed by producers to manage the collection of aluminum alcoholic cans, refillable bottles and associated packaging.

Circular Commitments and Achievements

  • BRCCC consistently has one of the highest container recovery rates in the province, achieving 90%+ for over a decade. Achieving high recovery rates and ensuring excellent environmental performance means more materials are diverted from our landfills, oceans and waterways.
  • For over 90 years – long before any regulatory requirements – the Beer Industry has managed a deposit return system and remains the only system in the Province that refills glass bottles. The refillable beer bottle continues to be a gold standard of sustainable packaging and an exemplary model of a circular economy.
  • BRCCC’s collection system utilizes the brewers’ distribution and retail networks, which maximizes efficiencies through return empty container trips coordinated with full goods deliveries thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions!
  • BRCCC has also long-practiced crushing cans before shipping to optimize transportation routes and reduce the need for trucks on the road.

Learn more about BRCCC's story and environmental leadership here.