Information on bottle bills (beverage container deposit laws) throughout the US and around the world.
So here’s the thing, I was born in Michigan where if you were ever strapped for cash all you had to do was take in all the bottles you’d been saving or that you’d snagged off the side of the road when you were a kid and bam! You’ve got like $20.
Not only did we have cash on hand but we were recycling before it was cool. Even when my mother was on Food Stamps we found the money for the deposit for soda bottles, and mind you this was way back in the day when stuff was cheaper (10 cents could get you like 3 starbursts and 5 tootsie rolls at the corner store) and food stamps looked like monopoly money that came in these little books that you had to tear them out of. Hey, I was like 7 it was pretty, lol.
So forward many many years, and I’ve lived all over our fabulous country. I started in Benton Harbor, Michigan where I was born and lived all over Southwest Michigan growing up. I have since stayed in Hawaii, California, Arizona, Alaska, Texas, Colorado, Virginia, Mississippi, Illinois, and Florida. I list where I’ve been so that you can understand that I have seen and not seen bottle recycling from many many different places. I live in Jacksonville now and we don’t have curbside recycling in my neighborhood like I’d gotten used to in the places that I lived in California, Virginia, and Illinois.
As of now recycling for us consists of saving things and then having to take the time to go all the way to a recycling center very far from our home (rather than just up the road to a grocery store like I’ve done in the past) and getting rid of it there, or recycling here at the house which I prefer to do because you’d be amazed at the things that you can make with 2 liter bottles, wine bottles, water bottles and such when you’re a gardener, lol.
What I don’t understand is why every state doesn’t have bottle/can recycling at the very least. Even when we are at our poorest we can find 10 cents for a bottle deposit, I know because I’ve seen my mother do it, my mom’s friends do it, heck when I was first out on my own and living on a super tiny budget I was still able to scrape up those 10 pennies for a deposit on a 2 liter of soda, and by golly I took that bottle back and had a dime for the next one I purchased.
If you really want to make a dent in helping the environment this is a small and easy thing to do that has a huge impact because let’s face it you won’t see bottles strewn about the beach, the side of the road, or dropped carelessly around if they’re worth 10¢ each.
I invite you to take a gander at the Bottle Bill Resource Guide to see Countries and States that have Beverage Container Deposits and who is against this common sense way of getting some of the world’s trash put where it belongs instead of floating round our oceans.
FYI in 2014 in Michigan about 367.3 MILLION was paid in deposits and 345.9 M was refunded, that means 94.2% of all beverage containers purchased were recycled. So please explain to me why we don’t have this everywhere? People need incentive to do the right thing so give them one.
Countries with Deposit Laws
Turks and Caicos
USA (California, Connecticut, Guam, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Vermont)