Ontario consumers will have to start forking out an extra 10 to 20 cents per containeron their liquor and wine purchases when the province introduces a deposit systemin abouttwo months.

With the new program, Ontario joins seven other provinces who have similar container return systems. Most provinces charge10 to 20 cents;Saskatchewan charges10 to 40 cents.

Quebec and Manitoba do not offer deposit refunds for the return of liquor and wine bottles.

Starting Feb. 5,Liquor Control Board of Ontario stores will begin adding a 20-cent deposit to the price of wine or liquor inglass bottles and Tetra Paks larger than 630 ml, with a 10-cent deposit for smaller bottles.

Buyers can then return empties for a refund, not at the LCBO, but rather at The Beer Store, an Ontario chain that sells only beer.

Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the initiative in September, but the government released details Thursday on the pricing and cost of the program.

In the first few years of the program, the government aims to reach an 85 per cent return rate, a ministry spokesman told CBC. The Beer Store has a 96 per cent return rate.

Deposit Container Type
10 cents

Glass containers, Tetra Paks, bag-in-a-box and PET plastic bottles less than or equal to 630 millilitres

Cans ofone litre or less

20 cents

Glass containers, Tetra Pak, Bag-in-a-box, PET plastic bottlesgreater than 630 mL

Cans greater than one litre

The government believes thenew program could cause a 30 to 40 per cent increase in recycling rates.

The province has a five-year contract with The Beer Store to collect returned bottles. The deal is expected to cost the government about $15 million in the first year, as itwill likely handle around 150 million bottlesat 441 stores across the province.

The Beer Store got the contract because the government saysit already runs an efficientbottle-return program for beer bottles.