Recycling Beer Bottles -- The average beer bottle is refilled 15 times in its environmentally-friendly life cycle
Recycling Beer Bottles -- The average beer bottle is refilled 15 times in its environmentally-friendly life cycle An empty beer bottle can be returned, refilled, and resold all in one day.

"The Beer Store's deposit return program is considered the most successful in North America because of its high recovery rate. Environmentalists applaud the program for keeping beverage containers out of landfills and blue boxes, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing energy expenditure and saving taxpayers millions.

Canada Day weekend is one of the biggest beer-selling weekends of the year  an ideal time to track the journey of a beer bottle as it moves from one consumer to another. This is the story of how Gary Grant's Friday night thirst-quencher becomes Chinese tourist Ming De's Tuesday night drink with dinner.

Gary Grant arrives at The Beer Store, near Dixie Rd. and Queen St. E. in Brampton, on Saturday morning with five cases of empties, next to his fishing rods in the trunk of his beige Toyota Corolla.

He joins the lineup at the recycling station and hoists the rattling cases off a trolley onto a conveyor roll that is already lined with black bins filled with beer cans, plastic liquor containers and glass wine bottles.

Grant, a longtime beer drinker, has always returned his empties. It's a no-brainer, he says. "I have two young kids so I want to keep the environment good."