New plan would repeal Michigan’s bottle deposit law

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Legislation introduced by State Representative Joe Bellino, R-Monroe, would end the state’s 40-year-old bottle deposit law on Dec. 31, 2022. People who buy a product with a deposit before that date would have three years to return it for a refund.

Bellino said although the “bottle bill” helped reduce litter in the 80s and 90s, it’s now hurting recycling.

“The bottle deposit system ultimately captures just 2 percent of our waste, but it costs more and generates less revenue than traditional recycling programs,” Bellino said.

According to Bellino Michigan’s residential recycling rate is one of the lowest in the nation, at 15 percent. 

Prior to the repeal, additional money from unclaimed deposits would be directed into local recycling programs, including support for recycling carts, education and material sorting facilities.

The legislation has been referred to the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee for consideration.

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