The Alberta beverage container system is a great example of a circular economy. Using a refund-deposit system, beverage containers are stewarded from production, to distribution, to sale and use, to recycling, and back to production. By reducing reliance on virgin material, preventing containers from reaching landfill and increasing recycling infrastructure, the Alberta beverage container recycling system works to protect our environment and stimulate a vibrant economy that funds many social programs and communities.
The below flow chart depicts the movement of beverage containers through the system, from the manufacturer/distributor to the end markets where the containers are recycled or reused (glass beer bottles).
The below flow chart depicts cash flow in the beverage container recycling system.