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Oregon bottle deposit will double to 10 cents next spring


After two years of low bottle-return rates, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has followed a legislative dictate and will boost the bottle deposit amount from five to 10 cents next April.

Here’s the OLCC’s annoouncement

At their monthly meeting this week, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission reviewed statewide beverage container redemption data from the past two calendar years, as directed by the Oregon legislature through House Bill 3145.

The law states that if the return rate for beverage containers is below 80% for two consecutive years, then the redemption value will increase from 5 cents to 10 cents per container and will take effect within a designated timeframe.

After reviewing the data provided by the industry, the commissioners have determined that the rates of redemption for the last two years are 64.45% in 2015 and 68.26% in 2014, which are significantly less than the 80% threshold set by the Legislature.

In compliance with House Bill 3145, the bottle bill redemption value will increase to 10 cents per beverage container beginning April 1, 2017.

“We have many partners in the beverage, retail, and recycling industries,” says Steve Marks, OLCC executive director. “We will be working with our partners over the next eight months to make this transition as smooth as possible for consumers and industry employees.”

In anticipation of the determination, the OLCC has already reached out to product manufacturers, beverage distributors and retail outlets to discuss labeling changes, product sell-through issues, signage at stores, and information resources for clerks to support customer awareness and education.

To facilitate these regulatory issues, the OLCC is likely to pursue formal rulemaking to ensure clarity for both industry and consumers.

Oregon’s Bottle Bill was introduced in 1971 as the very first bottle bill in the U.S. The Oregon Legislature has given the OLCC authority to administer and enforce the Bottle Bill.

“It is the OLCC’s responsibility to implement the Legislature’s changes and to provide excellent customer service to the public and our stakeholders to make sure they are complying with state laws,” says Marks.

“Just as we are carrying out the recreational marijuana program, and expanding retail liquor sales, we are equally dedicated to making the bottle bill implementation a success through ongoing communication and flexibility.”

The following types of beverage containers under three liters are included in Oregon’s Bottle Bill:

Water/Flavored Water
Soda Water/Mineral Water
Carbonated Soft Drinks
Beer/Malt Beverages

In a joint statement, the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative and Northwest Grocery Association noted Oregon is the first state in the nation to boost a previously established deposit amount.

The organizations said they will continue to build and operate BottleDrop Redemption Centers, add features for nonprofit fundraising, provide a 20 percent bonus for deposits in the BottleDrop PLUS program and work with state and environmental groups for community education and customer convenience.

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