beer store returns

Returning empty alcohol containers at The Beer Store puts cash back in your pocket

We all know The Beer Store and how they take back empty booze bottles and cans, but did you know they have a deposit refund system and are one of the country's leading recyclers?

With over 1,000 brands in 400+ store locations and a strong ecommerce presence across Ontario, The Beer Store prevents just under 2 billion empty alcohol containers from entering landfill every year. As beer experts they're passionate about environmental leadership – it's one of their core values.

The Beer Store has one of the most successful waste diversion programs in North America, with a 97 per cent recovery rate for refillable beer bottles. They're Canada's first business recipient of the Environmental Choice Leadership Award, and are global leaders in this practice.

(Make sure to keep an eye out for more information on The Beer Store's contribution to the Circular Economy during Waste Reduction Week in Canada coming up this October!)

The Beer Store takes back every empty container they sell to consumers, restaurants and bars, along with all other alcohol containers sold in the province and their packaging. That includes things like plastic rings, bottle caps and cardboard packaging. And it's worth noting that they're one of few retailers in North America that does this. 

Not a beer fan? That's fine! It's easy to recycle wine, spirit and other alcohol containers through The Beer Store, too. Don't forget that alcohol aluminum cans are included, too!

Here's where you're going to want to make sure you pay attention: they offer a deposit refund on any liquor container over 100 ml, that was purchased in Ontario.

At The Beer Store, you can get back your 10-cent deposit on bottles that are 630 ml or less, and on cans less than or equal to 1 L. You'll get 20 cents for any that are greater.

Need some ideas on what to do with the extra funds? Here's a few:

  • Keep the cash back in your pocket
  • Use it for your next purchase. With over 1,000 brands in beers, seltzers, coolers and more, you can surely discover a new favourite.
  • Help raise money for charity. The Beer Store has helped raise and donate over $20 million to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada over the past 20 years, and has raised over $4.6 million for local charities, food banks and shelters across the province since 2020.

On top of that, you'll support in diverting hundreds of thousands of tonnes of material, and most of it can be turned into new bottles, cans and packaging. 

Bringing back empties to The Beer Store is convenient with 400+ locations across Ontario, there's definitely one near you! Returning empties to The Beer Store takes the pressure off local recycling programs by reducing bulky materials, such as wine and liquor bottles, and ensures that every container and packaging returned will be recycled into high-end use products, or reused.

It's easy to return your empties for refund at The Beer Store. Just use their online Empty Container Return Location tool to find your closest store.

For time-saving tips when returning your empties, before heading out to return your empties, sort them at home. Rinse and separate glass by colour, aluminum and plastic by materials (when possible), and return cans in the packaging they came in, or in clear plastic bags. 

Remember to keep necks of all bottles pointing up, and that black totes are provided for sorting when you arrive in-store.

Now you know exactly what's in it for you. Get cash back, use it for your next purchase, or donate your deposit to charity and help give empties another life. So, what are you waiting for? Go return your empties at The Beer Store!

Lead photo by

The Beer Store


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