Enacted in 1982 and implemented in 1983, the Massachusetts Bottle Deposit Law or "Bottle Bill" places a five cent deposit on all carbonated soft drinks, beer, malt beverages and sparkling water sold in the Commonwealth, with the assurance that consumers can redeem their empty beverage containers for a nickel. Its principal objective was to reduce litter and encourage the recycling of aluminum cans, and plastic and glass bottles - both of which it has greatly succeeded in doing.
Under the law, a consumer may return clean, empty containers to any Redemption Center that agrees to accept them, or to any retail outlet that sells (or sold within the past 60 days) the same brands, types and sizes of containers. Retail outlets must redeem containers for their full redemption value, while redemption centers are allowed to charge processing fees.
Implementing the Bottle Deposit Law
- Find a Registered Bottle & Can Redemption Center in Massachusetts
Directory of locations registered with MassDEP as beverage container redemption centers, and registration forms for those who want to operate redemption centers.
- Guide to the 1983 Bottle Bill for Distributors & Bottlers
A summary of the rights and responsibilities of distributors and bottlers under the Massachusetts Beverage Container Law.
- Guide to the 1983 Bottle Bill for Consumers
Information about the rights and responsibilities of consumers under the Bottle Bill.
- Bottle Bill Resource Guide by the Container Recycling Institute (CRI)
Expanding the Bottle Deposit Law
- It's Time for Massachusetts to Update the Bottle Bill
July 20, 2011
Thank you to Senator Downing and Chairman Keenan, and through you to the Committee. On behalf of the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Department of Environmental Protection, I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today in strong support of an Expanded Bottle Bill in Massachusetts.
- Expanding the Bottle Bill
Water, sports drink, tea and other non-carbonated beverage containers are not covered by the Bottle Deposit Law, and they often end up in landfills or along the side of the road. Updating the law to include them would reduce litter, increase recycling, and generate new state and local revenues.
- Top Five Reasons Massachusetts Needs an Expanded Bottle Bill
For more than a decade, efforts have been made each year to expand the Bottle Bill to include water, sports drink, tea and other non-carbonated beverage containers. Why? Because the existing law has not kept pace with people's beverage consumption habits.
- Municipal Benefits of an Expanded Bottle Bill
An expanded bottle bill would lower city and town waste collection and disposal costs, increase the local share of unclaimed bottle deposits, and reduce litter in all communities.
- Beverage Containers in Litter & Public Waste Receptacles
To better understand the potential impact of updating the Bottle Bill to include additional beverage containers, MassDEP commissioned a study to examine the number and type of beverage containers found in litter at 12 community cleanup events. The survey took place during the spring of 2009.
MassDEP Bottle Deposit Law Expansion Survey, July 2011
This survey found that there is no appreciable difference in beverage pricing between states that have container deposit laws and those that do not.
- Survey Attachments, July 2011