Notice Regarding Bottle Deposit Return Program

Issued:  June 29, 2021

 

In early 2020, the collection of returnable beverage containers by retailers and other parties under Michigan's Beverage Container Deposit Law, MCL 445.571 et seq., was temporarily suspended pursuant to former Executive Order No. 2020-21 in order to support Michigan's efforts to fight the coronavirus.  Beginning in June 2020, the bottle deposit return program began to be reestablished in a phased-in manner, and the program was fully reestablished in October 2020.

Bottle Return Facilities:

This Notice is intended to be a reminder that all grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations and other retailers of every kind with bottle return facilities, regardless where such facilities are physically located, and whether serviced by reverse vending machines, staffed by employees, or some combination of the two, are currently required to have their bottle return facilities open and fully operational, and they should be collecting returnable beverage containers and refunding customer bottle deposits as usual before the temporary suspension.

While all retailers with bottle return facilities must continue to comply with state-mandated health and safety protocols, there are no COVID-related restrictions presently in place with respect to bottle returns or the refunding of customer bottle deposits.

As an additional reminder, all beverage retailers are required by law to provide a convenient means for customers to return to the retailer, for deposit refund, returnable containers of any kind, size, and brand offered for sale by the retailer, whether or not a particular container was sold by that retailer.  "Convenient" means convenient to customers.  Accordingly, retailers may not:

  • Close their bottle return facilities and refuse to accept returnable containers;
  • Refuse to accept any returnable container of a kind, size, or brand offered for sale by that retailer;
  • Severely restrict operational hours of bottle return facilities or impose other restrictions on returns that would have the effect of impeding bottle returns provided for under the Beverage Container Deposit Law.

Recycling:  Consumers always have the option of recycling their returnable beverage containers if they choose not to return them to a bottle deposit redemption facility.

Questions:  Questions regarding the bottle deposit return program may be directed to:

Michigan Department of Treasury

Special Taxes Division/Misc. Taxes and Fees

Phone: 517-636-0515

Email: Treas_MiscTaxesFees@michigan.gov