By: Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

Rep. Jon Hoadley and Sen. Sean McCann have recently introduced legislation seeking to expand Michigan’s bottle deposit law to all beverages except milk containers and provide funding to address contaminated sites.

HB 5306 and SB 701 would modernize the state’s “bottle bill.” The intent of the legislation is to make the changes needed to keep pace with the ever-evolving beverage containers, including the explosion of single-use plastics. Further, the beverage market has changed from being dominated by pop and beer to water, tea, and other drinks now taking up most of the market. Riparians are well aware of the single use containers that increasingly end up in Michigan’s rivers, lakes, streams, and landfills. The plastic containers can also become a source of micro-plastics in our water resources.

Besides expanding containers subject to a deposit, the bills would implement universal redemption, create a bottle handling fund, make funding available for audits and fraud enforcement, and provide $25 million annually to address contaminated sites. Both bills are now in their respective Regulatory Reform Committees for review. No hearing dates on these bills have been scheduled as of January 12, 2020.
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