Posted on Dec 15, 2011 in Food & drink, Money & finances
I always thought it was cool that I could bring my empty cans and bottles back and partially fund my next drink purchase. What states have beverage container deposit programs in place, and what sort of restrictions are there?
It seems like free money — you buy a 12-pack of soda/beer/whatever, then get 60¢ back when you bring the cans back. Score! Of course, you’re simply paying that 60¢ in advance when you buy the 12-pack in the first place, hence why it’s called a container deposit, not a container hey-free-money. So just in case you don’t happen to have a can in front of you — or live to far from a deposit state for your local bottler to bother imprinting your cans — let’s take a look at the ten states that currently have container deposit legislation on the books.
Alphabetically listed, of course. All laws below are current as of December 2011.
Also worth mentioning here is the fact that Delaware had a container deposit law up until it was repealed in 2009 — no deposits were charged after December 1, 2010 and no refunds paid after February 1, 2011.
The whole purpose of container deposit laws is, of course, to encourage recycling. States that have container recycling laws have an average recycling rate of 70%, versus the overall U.S. rate of 33%.
Some of the arguments against include the availability of curbside recycling vs. having to take the empties back to the store, voters not wishing to pay more for their beverages purchases at the store, the “I’ll forget to recycle them and get my money” back argument, and more.
Texas recently lost a bid to introduce a container deposit law in 2011, however the bill did not gather enough votes.
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