Notice Regarding Michigan's Bottle Deposit Return Program

NOTICE REGARDING MICHIGAN’S BOTTLE DEPOSIT RETURN PROGRAM

Issued:  October 15, 2020

Earlier this year, 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. The suspension supported Michigan’s fight against the coronavirus by permitting grocery stores and other retailers to immediately shift employees from container collection and deposit redemption duties to other areas where they were more urgently needed, and to protect the health and safety of retailers, their employees, and all Michigan residents.  Beginning in June, the bottle deposit return program began to be reestablished in a phased-in manner.  Phase 1 of the program began June 15, 2020, and Phase 2 began October 5, 2020.

Effective immediately, 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, must re-open their bottle return facilities and resume the collection of returnable beverage containers and refund of customer bottle deposits.

All retailers with bottle return facilities must ensure that those facilities comply with all state-mandated safety protocols to protect both workers and the public.  (See Emergency Order Under MCL 333.2253, issued October 9, 2020 by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_98455-541962--,00.html).

Retailers may take any or all of the following steps, as they may determine to be necessary or prudent, in order to comply with state-mandated safety protocols:

  • Limit the number of beverage containers that may be returned by a single individual per day to a deposit refund amount of $25, pursuant to MCL 445.572(10).
  • 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.

Recycling:  Consumers should be aware that they 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


All individuals should continue to take the following basic personal-hygiene measures to help prevent the spread of the virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Michiganders are required to wear a cloth mask or face covering over the mouth and nose when in indoor public spaces or crowded outdoor spaces.
  • In public situations, practice social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid handshakes.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick; get tested for COVID-19 if appropriate.

The most up-to-date guidance on these and other virus-mitigation strategies is available at www.Michigan.gov/coronavirus.  This matter is rapidly evolving and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will continue to provide updated guidance.