Skip to main content
Home » Circular Economy » Sip Sustainably With the Canadian Beverage Association
Circular Economy

Sip Sustainably With the Canadian Beverage Association

Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Krista Scaldwell

President, CBA

The Canadian Beverage Association engages consumers, producers, and the government to make non-alcoholic beverages part of the forthcoming circular economy. 

Behind every cooling beverage Canadians will enjoy this summer is an organization championing sustainability in the beverage industry. Founded in 1942 to advocate for a competitive beverage industry, the Canadian Beverage Association (CBA) represents more than 60 brands of soft drinks, juices, teas, and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Today, the CBA has turned it’s focus towards environmental stewardship, leading proactive initiatives that advance a more circular economy. The next time you crack open a soft drink on a hot day or a sports drink after a challenging workout, remember that the CBA is working to close the loop on the circular economy — one sip at a time.

Pioneering sustainability with extended producer responsibility (ERP)

The principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is central to much of Canada’s approach to corporate sustainability. EPR means beverage producers are responsible for the packaging and containers — bottles, cans, or cartons —  used to transport beverages. Recovering as many beverage containers as possible and increasing Canada’s recovery rate is critical. By getting every beverage container back, we can keep valuable materials, like plastic and aluminum, circulating in the market, not the landfill.

Investments in sustainability by the beverage sector is also an important part of their contributions to the circular economy. To that end, CBA members are working to design of products with their end-of-life in mind. This increase in the recyclability of containers and packaging, significantly helps make recycling more streamlined for consumers and recyclers.

Engaging consumers in the recycling journey

Consumers are crucial to the success of recycling programs. After all, once a beverage is in a consumer’s hands, even the best program is moot without their participation. That’s why making recycling accessible, easy to understand and rewarding is one of the association’s top priorities. 

The CBA’s educational campaigns inform the public about the importance of recycling and how to do it correctly. Most recently, the association launched the “Made to be Remade” campaign to educate consumers about the importance of plastic, aluminum, and paper in the circular economy and inform decision-makers about the importance of harmonizing recycling systems across Canada. 

Towards a National Recycling Framework

Beverage container recovery rates across the country have steadily increased over time and currently range from 65 per cent to 85 per cent. The supply chain has come a long way, but greater harmonization is required to secure Canada as a true leader in the circular economy.

Today, recycling is still a patchwork of varied regulatory landscapes across the country. A national framework would streamline recycling for consumers, create a more predictable and stable market for recycled materials, and ultimately close the loop between consumers, recyclers, and producers. The federal government can act as a catalyst, fostering communication and understanding, but success ultimately lies at the provincial level.

In Ontario, the province with the lowest beverage container recycling program, the CBA is working with supply chain stakeholders to develop a deposit-return system (DRS) for non-alcoholic beverage containers. A DRS is widely known to be the most effective way to motivate consumers to recycle their beverage containers and will be critical in meeting the province’s 2030 recovery target. 

To learn more about how the CBA is helping create a closed-loop economy, visit

Next article