Press Release – Bottle Bill Sent to Governor

19 12 2008

From a Michigan Senate press release –

Bills to stop bottle deposit fraud sent to governor

LANSING — Legislation to help prevent Michigan from losing more than $10 million annually in fraudulent bottle deposit refunds is on its way to the governor, said bill sponsors Sens. Ron Jelinek and Cameron S. Brown.

The bipartisan, bicameral package of legislation requires reverse vending machines (RVM) to be retrofitted with new technology to prevent out-of-state bottles and cans from being returned in Michigan for the 10-cent deposit.

“Today is a great day for the state and for our retailers along the border who are taking the brunt of the fraud and will now have a means of preventing it from happening,” said Jelinek, R-Three Oaks. “This new technology will do wonders to keep out-of-state containers from being redeemed in Michigan and to keep state money in the state.”

The legislation:

> Requires unique markings on returnable beverage containers sold in Michigan designating them  as Michigan-only;

> Requires reverse vending machines used in Michigan to correctly identify and reject non-Michigan bought beverage containers;

> Establishes a fund to help reimburse manufacturers for the costs of the RVM retrofits in the two tiers of counties along Michigan’s southern border as required by the new law; and

> Revises and adds new penalties for consumers who return and dealers who accept out-of-state containers.

“This problem has been neglected for far too long and is especially acute along the border counties,” said Brown, R-Fawn River Twp. “As chair of the Michigan Beverage Container and Recycling Task Force, I am pleased to see this legislative package advance to the governor. Addressing fraudulent redemptions was a key component of the task force’s 2003 report and these bills will help collect revenue the state is currently losing. They will also help retailers who administer the bottle returns by paying for the cost of the upgrades to their reverse vending machines.”

The bills in the package are Senate Bills 1532 and 1648 and House Bills 5147, 6441 and 6442.

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