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Bottle Deposit Law Changes Still Up In The Air

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Michigan's 40 year old Bottle Deposit Law could be eliminated if a governor's panel decides to push the idea as part of a plan to boost recycling in the state.

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick sorts out some of the proposed changes.

Michigan's 10 cent Bottle Deposit Law could be in for some major changes including allowing local stores to stop collecting the bottles and creating redemption centers instead and there is a suggestion for a complete elimination of the law over time.

This 13 page draft report from the State Department of environmental quality suggests you could "phase out the deposit law at a point where recycling meets a certain threshold."

"Absolutely not. I think most people still feel very connected to the bottle bill. They know it works. It gets them reused which is what people want," said Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), Ann Arbor.

But Senator Hanson, who worked 30 years in the grocery business contends many of the bottles come to the stores with filthy garbage in the containers and that could contaminate food products. So the idea of getting bottles out of the stores and into regional redemption centers, he argues, is a good idea. "So if theres a opportunity to have the bottle law but have redemption centers i think they are looking down the right track," said Sen. Geoff Hanson (R), Hart

Having to take your bottles someplace completely different in your busy lives might mean less of those containers come back. It doesn't make sense to mess with a program that is working so well.

For his part the governor ordered this review of the state's recycling programs which have the lowest rate in the midwest, does he want to mess with the bottle law?

We are not starting with the premise we're going to change the bottle law. We're doing a review of recycling as part of that review, it could include all aspects including the bottle law without making an assumption that something is going to be changed.

A closed door work group meeting on all this is planned for next month.

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