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Container Deposits

In Manitoba, alcoholic beer and malt-based refreshment beverage containers (bottles and cans) carry a refundable deposit.

Those less than two litres carry a 10-cent refundable deposit. Larger ones carry a 20-cent refundable deposit.

How do I know whether a product carries a deposit or not? 
All alcoholic beer and malt-based refreshment beverage containers sold in Manitoba, regardless of size or material, carry a deposit. 

If you are unsure about a specific product, ask at the store before purchase or check your receipt afterwards.

Does the deposit always show up on my receipt? 
The deposit may appear on your receipt, depending on the retailer. If you are unsure whether you paid a deposit, ask the retailer.  

Who accepts empty containers?  
You can return eligible containers purchased in Manitoba, to any hotel beer vendor. Some rural liquor vendors also take empties. 

Liquor Mart stores, private wine stores and some private liquor vendors do not accept empty containers.

Must I return empties to the store where I made my original purchase? 
No, you do not need to return to the place of purchase.  

Do I need to show my receipt when returning containers? 
No receipt is necessary to redeem empty containers and receive your deposit back.

What can I expect when I go to return my empty beer containers? 
You will receive your full deposit value back when returning eligible empties.

Vendors are privately operated businesses. They may request that you sort or organize your containers into bags holding a certain count, or on trays that they provide. We recommend that you call the location you plan to visit in order to know their requirements and avoid inconvenience.

Can a vendor require that I use my deposit refund towards another purchase? 
No, you are entitled to receive your full deposit back in cash.  

Does a vendor have a right to refuse my container returns? 
A location may reject containers that are:

  • crushed top-to-bottom or in a way that makes it difficult to confirm that they are eligible containers,
  • broken,
  • unsanitary, or
  • holding liquid or foreign material (e.g. cigarette butts).

A location may also refuse service if a customer is abusive towards employees.

Is the refundable deposit charged no matter where I buy the eligible products in Manitoba? 
Yes, the deposit is charged anywhere the products are sold at retail.

What are some examples of containers that do not carry a refundable deposit?

  • Wine and spirit products
  • Reusable glass growler/howler
  • Non-malt-based liquor products
  • Non-alcoholic products

Does it matter where the product was made? 
No. All alcoholic beer and malt-based refreshment beverages sold in Manitoba, regardless of where it was made, carries the container deposit.  

I have a complaint about how a vendor handled my container return. What should I do?  
Contact the manager/owner of the vendor directly to resolve your complaint. If you feel that they do not appropriately address your complaint, find an alternate vendor to handle your returns. 

Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries does not handle service complaints of third-party private businesses, as those are independently owned and operated.

Where does it say that beer vendors must accept beer containers for return? 
Under Regulation 68(1) of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Board Regulation 68/2014 to The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Act, a retail beer vendor must accept empty beer bottles or beer cans from products purchased in Manitoba on which a refundable deposit has been paid. 

Some rural liquor vendors also accept these containers in communities where no hotel beer vendor exists.

Do I also pay Manitoba’s Container Recycling Fee on beer containers? 
No. Beverage alcohol containers on the refundable deposit system such as beer and malt based refreshment beverages are not subject to container recycling fees.  

Why are beer containers treated differently than other beverage containers? 
There have historically been systems in place for brewers to collect, reuse and recycle their bottles, eventually expanding to beer cans and malt-based refreshment containers.

No historical system was in place in Manitoba for distillers and vintners to reuse or recycle their containers before municipal recycling systems were established. That is why those containers are collected in the same way as non-liquor beverage containers, such as through municipal curbside collection systems.

We are a “product steward” under Manitoba’s Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Regulation. This means that every year we help cover the costs connected to recycling all other liquor containers and packaging materials that go through recycling streams like curbside service, through Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM).

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