LANSING — Today, Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) and Sen. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo) introduced House Bill 5306 and Senate Bill 701, respectively, to significantly expand Michigan’s 40-year-old ‘Bottle Bill,’ modernizing the state’s recycling efforts and strengthening environmental conservation.
“Michigan’s ‘Bottle Bill’ was an innovative, effective approach to pollution prevention when it was first approved four decades ago, but we’ve failed to make the changes needed to keep pace with our ever-evolving beverage containers, including the explosion of single-use plastics,” said Hoadley. “This comprehensive measure will improve our pollution prevention and recycling systems so we are able to protect and preserve our natural resources for generations to come.”
Michigan’s existing bottle deposit law provides a 10-cent refundable deposit paid on certain soft drinks, beers and other carbonated beverages. The bills introduced today would expand this deposit to all other non-carbonated beverages with the exception of milk containers.
“Michigan’s bottle deposit law is one our great state’s most successful policies. Originally intended to reduce roadside litter, it was critical in establishing a culture of recycling and awareness of conservation issues among Michigan citizens,” McCann said. “This legislation would build on that success and lead to even greater participation.”
Among other reforms, the bills would:
- Permit universal redemption, allowing consumers to take any recyclable bottle to a large store while allowing smaller stores to maintain smaller takebacks;
- Create a bottle handling fund to reimburse distributors and dealers on a per-bottle-basis;
- Make funding available for audits and fraud enforcement;
- Provide $25 million each year to address contaminated sites.
The pair of bills represent a continuation of both members’ commitment to the cause of recycling and conservation.