Expanding the Bottle Deposit Law
Water, juice, and sports drink containers are a major source of litter and trash in our communities and cost millions of tax dollars to collect and recycle. The Massachusetts Legislature is considering several proposals that would expand the Bottle Deposit Law to cover these additional containers. If passed, the expanded law will:
- Save cities and towns millions of dollars in collection and disposal costs.
- Create and save hundreds of jobs across the state.
- Generate an estimated $20 million in new revenues.
- Ken's View: It's Time to Update the Bottle Bill Every year, more than 30,000 tons of non-carbonated beverage bottles are buried in landfills, burned in waste-to-energy plants, or tossed onto our streets, parks and beaches. That's enough plastic bottles to fill Fenway Park - from press box to Green Monster - five times.
- Testifying on Behalf of the Bottle Bill Commissioner Ken Kimmell's July 2011 Testimony to the Massachusetts Legislature.
- Expanding the Bottle Bill
The existing Bottle Deposit Law has not kept pace with people's beverage consumption habits. As a result, most water, sports drink, tea and other non-carbonated beverage containers often end up in landfills or by the side of the road instead of being recycled.
- Top Five Reasons to Expand the Massachusetts Bottle Bill
Updating the Bottle Bill to include water, sports drink, tea and other non-carbonated beverage containers would boost recycling, reduce litter, save money, create jobs and be supported by Bay Staters.
- 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 everywhere.
- Beverage Containers in Litter & Public Waste Receptacles
To better understand the potential impact of updating the Bottle Bill, MassDEP commissioned a study to examine the beverage containers found in litter at community cleanups.
MassDEP Bottle Deposit Law Expansion Survey
This 2011 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
The Current Bottle Deposit Law
The 30-year-old Massachusetts "Bottle Bill" places a five cent deposit on all carbonated soft drink, beer, malt beverage and sparkling water containers sold in the state. By giving consumers a financial incentive to recycle, it reduces litter, conserves resources and saves energy.
Under the law, you may return clean, empty bottles and cans to any retail outlet that sells or recently sold the same brands, types and sizes for full redemption value, or to any Redemption Center that will accept them. Redemption centers deduct processing fees from refunds.
- Guide to the 1983 Bottle Bill for Distributors & Bottlers
A summary of bottling and distribution company rights and responsibilities under the law.
- Guide to the 1983 Bottle Bill for Consumers
Information about consumer rights and responsibilities when redeeming containers.
- Bottle Bill Resource Guide by the Container Recycling Institute (CRI)
Find a Bottle & Can Redemption Center
List of Redemption Centers, Updated August 2013
These locations will redeem beverage containers under the Massachusetts Bottle Deposit Law, but have the right to determine the types, sizes and brands they will accept. Contact the one nearest you for specific redemption policies and hours of operation.
Open a Bottle & Can Redemption Center
- If you wish to establish a redemption center, you must notify MassDEP in advance, provide the agency with updated information twice annually, and advise consumers that it is illegal to redeem containers originally purchased in other states for deposit refunds in Massachusetts. You have the right to determine what types, sizes and brands of beverage containers your facility will accept.
Beverage Container Redemption Center Initial Registration
Use this form to notify MassDEP at least ten (10) business days in advance of commencing operations.
Recommended Signage for Beverage Container Redemption Center
Example of sign used to advise consumers that it is against the law for them to redeem beverage containers bought in other states for deposit refunds in Massachusetts.