Reporting guidance for milk packaging

Amendments to the BC Recycling Regulation will require producers of packaging for milk and milk substitutes to adjust material quantities in next year’s annual report.

The regulatory changes announced in September include the removal of containers of milk and milk substitutes from the Recycle BC program and the transfer of these products to the province’s beverage deposit system effective February 2022.

The amendments stem from the province’s Plastics Action Plan consultation last fall, which resulted in more than 35,000 responses. Following the consultation, Recycle BC successfully worked with the provincial government to advocate for appropriate lead times to assist those producers required to implement the changes.

For reports due May 31, 2021, Recycle BC members who supply milk and milk substitutes should only report 1/12 (8.3%) of actual 2020 quantities of container material in the WeRecycle Portal. As 2021 reports inform 2022 invoices, this reduced quantity will enable producers to pay only for the one month in 2022 that milk containers remain in the Recycle BC program.

The reduced quantity applies to containers of milk and milk substitutes, including soya, rice, grain or nut milks, as well as flavoured milk. The one-month quantities should only apply to the following material categories:

  • Gable Top Containers – Beverage – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • Aseptic Containers – Beverage – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • PET Bottles and Jars < 5 Litres – Beverage – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • HDPE Bottles, Jars and Jugs < 5 Litres Beverage – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • Plastic Laminates – Beverage – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • Non-Expanded Polystyrene – Beverage Bottles – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • PLA, PHA, PHB – Beverage – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • Other Plastic Packaging (not listed above) < 5 Litres – Beverage – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • Other Steel Containers and Packaging – Beverage – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • Aluminum – Beverage Containers – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • Clear Glass – Beverage – Milk and Milk Substitutes
  • Coloured Glass – Beverage – Milk and Milk Substitutes

Note that drinkable yogurts and kefirs are not beverages or milk beverages under deposit so containers must be fully reported. Producers are also required to continue reporting full quantities of ancillary and secondary packaging related to products moving to deposit.

The following products are not moving to deposit and should continue to be fully reported:

  • Infant formula
  • Dietary or meal Supplement
  • Any dairy concentrates
  • Condensed or evaporated milk
  • Whipping cream
  • Coffee cream or other coffee additives
  • Buttermilk
  • Drinkable yogurt
  • Yogurt, pudding, cheese, ice cream etc.
  • Modified milk-derived products (e.g. kefir)

Please contact CSSA’s National Steward Services team for assistance with any questions: 1-888-980-9549 or