Bill would modernize Michigan’s bottle deposit law

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LANSING —

Lawmakers introduced a bill to make recycling easier and to impose harsher restrictions on which plastics can enter the state without a deposit.

The bills are sponsored by : Rep. John Chirkun, D-Roseville, Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Oshtemo, Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Macatawa and Rep. Tim Sneller, D-Burton.

“These bills will crack down on rampant fraud and abuse coming across our borders and make it illegal for someone to purchase truckloads of soda from a neighboring state — without paying a deposit — and selling it to retailers in Michigan without initiating the deposit,” said Rep. Chirkun. “The blatant disregard for our state’s bottle deposit law is causing companies across the state to lose millions of dollars and it’s putting hardworking Michiganders’ jobs at risk.”

Currently Michigan has a 15% recycling rate, which is less than half the average recycling rate of our neighboring Great Lakes states and below the national average of 35%.

Under the current law, 75% of unclaimed deposits goes to EGLE — without any guarantee the money will be spent on recycling efforts — and 25% goes to retailers.

The newly introduced legislation further redirects the fund to ensure that local recycling programs will be supported while the bottle bill remains sustainable and workable.

  • 40% to EGLE
    • 75% to the Renew Michigan fund to support local recycling programs
    • 25% to Brownfield cleanup and redevelopment
  • 25% to retailers
  • 20% to beverage distributors, who are charged with implementing and overseeing the bottle bill
  • 15% to law enforcement to combat the rampant fraud that is currently undermining the effectiveness of the bottle bill

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