The BCMB has enhanced its focus on retail compliance with a new retail inspection program. Audits of retail locations are conducted across Alberta by third-party auditors – One Stop Shoppers Ltd.

The program has been introduced to ensure that deposits are applied at the point of sale, all beverage containers being sold and/or distributed are registered with the BCMB, and to ensure compliance with the Advertising of Deposit Policy.

Compliance by retailers is crucial to the integrity of the beverage container recycling system in Alberta and is a regulatory obligation under the Beverage Container Recycling Regulation and the BCMB’s Manufacturer and Retailer By-law.

Retailer Definition

A retailer is defined in the Beverage Container Recycling Regulation as a person who sells beverage containers to consumers. Retailers can also be deemed a manufacturer if they: 

  • carry on the business of filling containers with a beverage, and
  • import a beverage in a container into Alberta for the purpose of distribution or sale in Alberta.

Retailers who import or fill containers (thus deemed a manufacturer), must register their company and containers with the Beverage Container Management Board. They must also report their sales and remit corresponding deposit refunds and Container Recycling Fees to the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (Collection System Agent).

Registration Responsibilities for Retailers

  • Ask manufacturers/distributors for Alberta Registration Numbers on all beverage containers prior to selling and/or distributing.
  • Refuse to sell and/or distribute beverage containers without Alberta Registration Numbers.
  • Advise any manufacturer/distributor with non-system beverage containers to contact the BCMB for information on registration. Non-system containers include:
    • out-of-province containers;
    • containers that are exempt from the Beverage Container Recycling Regulation or not yet included (pending registration review – see Rejected Containers and Pending    Containers tabs in the BCMB Portal); and
    • off-spec containers (have not been filled or used and therefore are not registered for sale in Alberta as ready-to-serve beverages).

Non-System Containers

Non-system containers must be removed from store shelves to ensure compliance.

 Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can be penalized for selling and/or distributing non-system beverage containers. Failure to register beverage containers can result in fines up to $500,000 for a corporation or up to $50,000 for an individual.

Retail Advertising Policy

All retail locations where beverage containers are sold and/or distributed in Alberta must clearly identify the deposit amount for containers, separate from the price of the product. Specifically, the Advertising of Deposit Policy requires:

  • shelf labels to clearly identify a refundable deposit of either 10 cents or 25 cents (depending on size).
  • the deposit amount to be listed on receipts separate from the price of the beverage containers.
  • the Container Recycling Fee (CRF) to be shown separately on receipts or included in the price of the beverage containers (click here for more information on the CRF or direct any questions to Retailers should note that CRFs are updated annually on February 1.

Click on the links below to learn more:

BCMB Mandate - to regulate and enhance a leading beverage container system that protects Alberta’s environment.