Beverage Container Deposit Legislation

Updated: July 2021


Container deposit laws or bottle bills require a monetary deposit (usually 5 or 10 cents) at the point of sale on designated beverages to incentivize return of the bottle for recycling. The goal of bottle bills is to reduce litter and increase reuse and recycling rates. Bottle bills have proven to be effective: states with bottle bills average beverage container recycling rates of 60% while states without bottle bills average less than half of that rate. In addition, bottle bills produce a clean, low-contamination stream of recyclables for end markets.
 
The first bottle bill was passed in Oregon in 1971 in response to the industry’s move away from reusable/refillable beverage bottles and toward disposable ones. Today, thereare bottle bills in ten U.S. states. 
 
This fact sheet summarizes state bottle deposit return legislation in the U.S.

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