Michigan lawmaker proposes to repeal bottle bill law

Michigan lawmaker proposes to repeal bottle bill law

The proposed plan would end Michigan's bottle deposit law by Dec. 31, 2022.

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November 30, 2018

A Michigan legislator proposed a plan to repeal the state’s 40-year-old bottle deposit law, according to reports from WXYZ-TV, Detroit. 

The state enacted the Michigan Beverage Container Act in 1976 and implemented it by 1978. The law requires reporting of containers sold and redeemed by bottlers and distributors. Containers included in the law are airtight metal, glass, paper and plastic containers (or a combination of those materials) that are up to 1 gallon in size. The state pays back 10 cents for deposits through the program. Currently, Michigan is one of 11 states with a bottle deposit law.

Republican State Rep. Joe Bellino, Monroe, Michigan, introduced legislation as part of a new plan to provide a boost to community recycling programs, WXYZ-TV reports. Bellino tells WXYZ-TV that the bottle bills that once helped reduce litter in the 1980s and 1990s is now adversely impacting recycling in the state. Bellino says the state’s current bottle deposit system captures about 2 percent of the state’s waste and costs more and generates less revenue than traditional recycling programs. 

Bellino’s plan would end the state’s bottle deposit law on Dec. 31, 2022, and those who purchase a product with a deposit before that date would have three years to return the container for a refund through the original bottle deposit law, according to WXYZ-TV reports.

According to a report from the Detroit Free Press newspaper, Detroit, some experts say Bellino’s proposed legislation isn’t likely to pass. James Clift, policy director at the Michigan Environmental Council, tells the Detroit Free Press that Bellino’s proposed legislation would need three-quarters majority of votes, and there has been broad support of the law for many years.

Clift tells the Detroit Free Press that recycled bottles may end up in landfills anyway as a result of China’s stricter contamination requirements.