Michigan resumes deposit bottle, can returns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2020
EGLE Media Office, EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov, 517-284-9278
Jill A. Greenberg, EGLE Spokesperson, GreenbergJ@Michigan.gov, 517-897-4965

This month, Michigan consumers can begin redeeming bottles and cans that they have collected during the temporary, COVID-related shutdown of retail deposit rooms. 

Per State of Michigan Treasury Department guidelines, all supermarkets with Reverse Vending Machines located at the front of the store, or housed in a separate area, must accept deposit container returns on or before June 15.

Due to the large number of containers consumers are storing, temporary restrictions on returns may occur. Because of this, consumers are encouraged to check with their local retailers before returning containers.

Retailers may take any or all of the following steps to help with the influx of containers:

  • Limit the number of beverage containers that may be returned by a single individual per day to a deposit refund amount of $25.
  • Establish special or limited hours of operation for bottle return facilities.
  • Limit the number of available and operating reverse vending machines.
  • Periodically close bottle deposit facilities as needed for cleaning and supply management.
  • Implement such other procedures or restrictions as each retailer may determine are necessary or advisable to promote safety and/or efficiency.

Retail customers are asked to observe grocery store safety measures (wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot distance) when visiting the deposit rooms. 

Michigan’s Bottle Bill was originally enacted in 1978 as anti-litter legislation. It has grown to be the nation’s premier deposit return system, seeing annual redemption rates in or near the 90th percentile, keeping our roads and waterways clear of deposit beverage container debris. Deposit containers account for 2% of Michigan’s overall waste stream and 16% of all materials recycled in Michigan.

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