Creating a Sustainable Economy Together

Learn about the circular economy of beverage containers

The beverage container recycling industry in Alberta creates a sustainable circular economy. Recyclable glass, plastic, cardboard and metal beverage containers are collected and sorted through one of more than 220 bottle depots across Alberta, then transported to the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (ABCRC) where they are baled (or, in the case of glass, broken into cullet) for shipment to end-markets.

Every time you take your empties to an Alberta Depot, or put your beverage containers in a recycle bin, you’re helping to make the world a more sustainable place.

The benefit of “clean” streams

Keeping recyclable beverage containers like glass bottles and plastic bottles separate from other recyclable materials ensures that product streams are kept “clean” throughout the recovery and sorting process. This makes Alberta’s product very desirable to end markets, allowing us choice in who we sell it to, with a preference for local, western Canadian markets when possible. The clean streams also help manufacturers increase the amount of recycled content in their beverage containers. Win-win!

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A high recyclability rate

ABCRC does everything they can to ensure that Alberta’s beverage containers are sent to end markets that recycle or repurpose as much material from them as possible – this is called a “recyclability rate.”

Beverage containers made of aluminum or clear plastic have the highest recyclability rates – they are turned into brand new beverage containers with little to no waste. Coloured plastics and glass bottles, which are turned into new products, have the second-highest recyclability rates. In every case, the benefit of recyclability is weighed against the cost and environmental impact of transporting the beverage containers to an end market. ABCRC is committed to propelling the circular economy forward and helping Alberta do its part to protect the planet!