Beverage Container Deposit Laws Need to be Nationwide

Day 277 – It’s not a difficult concept to understand.

  1. When a retailer buys beverages from a distributor, a deposit is paid to the distributor for each container purchased.
  2. The consumer pays the deposit to the retailer when buying the beverage.
  3. The consumer receives a refund when the empty container is returned to a supermarket or other redemption center. 
  4. The distributor then reimburses the retailer or redemption center the deposit amount for each container, plus an additional handling fee in most states.
  5. Unredeemed deposits are either returned to the state, retained by distributors, or used for program administration.

The Can Manufacturers InstituteGlass Packaging Institute and National Association for PET Container Resources have come together to push the idea of a deposit program. The associations say deposit systems lead to higher recycling rates, as well as to better quality material.

“The organizations also say the increase in deposits can decrease litter, provide more pure material beneficial to each of the industries they represent and produce a resilient supply of material needed to make new beverage containers.” – Recycling Today

Ten states plus Guam participate in a deposit program and these programs are making a difference.

According to the Container Recycling Institute, in 2018, in the 10 states with deposit systems, recycling rates for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, glass bottles and aluminum beverage cans were 62 percent, 64 percent and 77 percent, respectively. That’s compared with countrywide recovery rates of 28 percent, 40 percent and 46 percent, respectively.” – Recycling Today

The can, glass and plastic companies want their containers back. The only way we can move from a single-use society to a circular economy is to get these highly recyclable materials back to those that can use them again. Otherwise, they will continue ending up in the landfill or incinerator.

Does your state have a deposit law?

Tomorrow, when sustainability and art collide.

The Can Crusher: Tons of fun!

Day 7- As a kid, one of the chores was to head to the basement and crush aluminum cans. I can’t say I had a lot of fun doing it, but it did release some pent-up energy, at times. Flash forward about 40 years and the can crusher has once again made an appearance. It’s not the original crusher from my childhood, but it sure looks like the same contraption. I never thought I would have one in my own home, but it’s a hit with the kids!

Once, I started separating the recyclables, I knew I needed a container for aluminum. We don’t consume too many beverages in aluminum cans, but the adults in the house have their share of Pepsi. I thought by crushing the cans, we could utilize the space a bit better.

The cans will be accepted at the Resource Center, along with the other recyclables. However, I have another plan for them. The electrician in the house takes his leftover wire to the local metal recycling center for a pay out based on the weight of the wire. I figured while he was there he could cash in on some aluminum cans. Now, the amount paid for aluminum cans does not come close to what is paid for copper filled wire, but every little helps.

So, the next time you’re thinking about what gift you can give the kids that will bring them tons of fun, consider the can crusher!

Tomorrow we’ll deal with the ever so annoying plastic bag. A thorn in our side since 1959.