California Bill To Make Beverage Industry Responsible For Bottle Deposits Moves Forward

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By Staff Writers, VENDING TIMES

March 18, 2021

A bill to put the responsibility for recycling empty CRV containers onto the beverage industry passed California’s senate environmental quality committee, according to a press release.

Such systems in other bottle deposit programs and in other countries have been proven to raise redemption rates through the efficient use of new technology, which includes reverse vending machines and automated bag drop locations that automatically take empties and issue credit to consumers, according to Consumer Watchdog, which supports the measure.

The bill, SB 38, passed by a committee vote on five-to-two, and now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, testified that redemption centers have closed in record number and retailers are not taking back empties. More grocers are opting out, he said. 75% of Whole Foods stores have opted out of redeeming bottles and cans.

Consumers have nowhere to turn, except curbside, where they forfeit their CRV and the bottles and cans suffer from extreme contamination and one-in-four wind up in landfill, according to the press release.

Supporters say the bill will create a new model for deposit refunds that will make deposit refunds easy and also protect the environment.

If passed, the bill sets a high redemption target of 85% and allows industry to craft and run the system with oversight from the state recycling regulator: CalRecycle.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
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