Canada’s second annual Circular Economy Month campaign is just under two weeks away! Join us again this October in educating and empowering Canadians to support a circular economy.

A long-time sponsor of the Circular Economy Month is back again this year: welcome back, The Beer Store! This Champion has incorporated circular principles into its business model for over 95 years, making them one of the first Canadian business voices to support the movement in honour of the environment, community, and economy.

Circular Commitments and Achievements:

The Beer Store (“TBS”) has been operating since 1927 as a brewer co-operative, warehousing and distributing beer and malt-based beverages on behalf of brewers and listing their brands in the 400+ TBS retail stores across Ontario. Additionally, TBS acts as the steward for the containers and packaging sold within their system, ensuring all material returned is re-used or recycled through high-value streams. A deposit applied to the sale of these containers has helped to ensure high recovery rates. In their 95-year history, TBS has collected approximately 170 billion containers to be re-used or recycled.

In 2007, TBS began a contract with the Province of Ontario to facilitate the Ontario Deposit Return Program (“ODRP”). The ODRP requires all beverage alcohol containers that are not part of TBS’ return system to be sold with a deposit that is fully refundable when the container is returned through TBS’ return network. TBS also accepts any packaging associated with the sale of these containers. Under this program, TBS commits to ensuring all ODRP containers and material returned are recycled through high-value streams. TBS’ circular system collects, reuses, and recycles more than 1.7 billion containers every year! Additional achievements include:

  • Through TBS’ circular re-use program, beer bottles can be reused on average 15 times before they are recycled into new bottles. Almost all these bottles are returned to TBS; in 2022 the recovery rate of refillable bottles was 96%.
  • Over 200,000 metric tonnes of material is collected annually to be re-used or recycled.
  • Through the deposit return and reverse logistics model Ontarians avoid over 200,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
  • TBS retail stores and distribution centres support numerous fundraising campaigns to raise donations for charities that provide invaluable support and resources to local Ontario communities. Since 2001 TBS and the UFCW Local 12R24 have partnered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada to help raise funds for those affected by blood cancers. Since then, over $21 million has been raised!
  • A LEED-certified Bolton Distribution Centre facility allows for optimized management of materials returned for recycling.
  • TBS partners with Lexmark to recycle used toners and replant trees equivalent to their paper consumption. Since their partnership began in 2019, 6,593 trees have been planted, largely within Canada.

“The Beer Store is excited to return as a Circular Economy Month Champion. We continue to support this important annual campaign that aligns with our value in environmental sustainability to celebrate achievements in waste reduction and promote ongoing transition towards a circular economy across Canadian communities,” says The Beer Store’s President and CEO, Roy Benin.