Press Release

Press Release Massachusetts to Temporarily Suspend Bottle Redemption Enforcement

Massachusetts to Temporarily Suspend Bottle Redemption Enforcement
For immediate release:
3/18/2020
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact for Massachusetts to Temporarily Suspend Bottle Redemption Enforcement

Edmund Coletta, MassDEP – Director of Public Affairs

BostonOut of an abundance of caution due to the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office are suspending enforcement of the requirements for retailers to accept beverage containers that have a deposit effective immediately until further notice or until the current state of emergency is terminated.

This action is being taken because many grocers, supermarkets, and other retail operations have indicated that they are overwhelmed with an unprecedented volume of customers purchasing provisions so they can spend time at home to help in the effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Temporarily suspending enforcement of these requirements will allow individual retailers to assess their operations and, if necessary and appropriate, shift staffing to enable smoother operations. This action will also limit any contamination that potentially could occur from staff handling used beverage containers.

Consumers are encouraged to hold on to their deposit containers for redemption at a later date or to recycle those containers with existing household recycling. 

MassDEP and the Attorney's General Office will assess the situation on an ongoing basis and notify grocers, supermarkets, and other retailers when redemption services must resume and the temporary enforcement suspension ends.

Under state regulations, retailers are usually required to accept for redemption all containers of the same size, type and brand they sell to the public that carry the five-cent deposit and, without the suspension announced today, failures to redeem those containers can subject retailers to enforcement and potential penalties under the statute.

MassDEP’s Bottle Bill Hotline is available at 617-556-1054 for questions and information requests.

For information about the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, please visit the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) website.

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Media Contact for Massachusetts to Temporarily Suspend Bottle Redemption Enforcement

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 

MassDEP ensures clean air, land and water. We oversee the safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes. We ensure the timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills. And we work to preserve the state's wetlands and coastal resources.

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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