LANSING — State Representative Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) is introducing legislation to broaden the scope of the Michigan’s bottle and can deposit law to include water and all carbonated and noncarbonated beverages except for milk, if they are packaged in metal, plastic or glass containers of one gallon or smaller. Rep. Hoadley’s bill is intended to incentivize the recycling of beverage containers that currently are not subject to the state’s bottle deposit rules.

“As we mark another Earth Day, it’s important to consider what our state is doing to protect our environment for the enjoyment and productivity of our future generations,” Rep. Hoadley said. “One of Michigan’s real environmental successes has been our bottle deposit law, which has given Michigan recycle rate of nearly 100 percent for those containers. Building on that success, it’s time to expand that law to cover more kinds of commonly used containers.”

The current Michigan Beverage Container Law results in a 95 to 98 percent recycling rate for the returnable containers covered under the law, compared to a recycle rate of about 20 percent or less for non-returnable containers. Current law places a 10-cent deposit on carbonated beverage containers, like pop and beer, and was enacted through a ballot initiative in 1976. Since then, the variety of non-carbonated single-serving beverages has greatly expanded to include bottled water, juice, tea, sports drinks and other drinks. Under Rep. Hoadley’s proposal, an additional 600 million containers would be recycled each year, with no additional taxpayer expenditures required. Benefits of Michigan’s bottle law include reduced pollution, reduced consumption of energy and natural resources, reduced litter, conservation of landfill space and job creation.

“As a state, we have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain, by expanding our bottle return law,” Rep. Hoadley said. “It simply makes sense to build on programs that are proven to work, such as this one. I look forward to seeing the expansion of Michigan’s beverage return law, and even stronger numbers for recycling participation in our state.”